Defoe last featured for England in 2013, but gets the nod for the upcoming matches against Germany and Lithuania after scoring 14 of Sunderland’s 24 Premier League goals so far this season.
"Defoe's goal-scoring record this year speaks for itself. He’s a finisher and is very proud to play for England," Southgate said.
"You can have old players who are hungry as well. Genereally we are looking towards the future, but at this time – with his experience and goal-scoring record – he’s an important part of the squad."
Marcus Rashford also features following reports he was set to remain part of the U21 setup, while his Manchester United team-mate Luke Shaw has also been called up despite struggling for appearances this season.
There is no place for strikers Andy Carroll, Andre Gray or Troy Deeney despite the absence of injured trio Harry Kane, Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge.
Three Arsenal players were also snubbed by Southgate. Theo Walcott, who played in the friendly against Spain back in November, was left out despite an impressive season to date for Arsene Wenger’s side.
Read the full article on eurosport.co.uk: Defoe earns England recall, Southgate names four uncapped players