Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has urged Eric Dier to make a positional change for the good of his career.
Dier typically operates as a holding midfielder for Tottenham but has found regular football in North London hard to come by in recent times.
Keown admitted that he rates the England international as a player but believes he should instead be focusing on becoming a central defender rather than in front of the back four.
The 53-year-old believes that Dier possesses all of the key attributes to make him a top centre half and has urged Jose Mourinho to make the change.
Dier established himself as a key midfielder under Mauricio Pochettino early on in the Argentine’s spell in charge of Spurs but the player has suffered somewhat of a fall from grace in recent times.
The former Sporting Lisbon player spoke out in November about how illness and injury had stagnated his career (Independent).
“I think Eric Dier is a really, very good player, but he’s playing in the wrong position,” Arsenal Invincible Keown told talkSPORT.
“I think he should be playing in central defence – I’ve been saying it for so long.
“If I ever saw a player with all the necessary qualities to play central defence, it’s him; he’s got power, he’s got pace, he’s got mobility, and he’s very good in possession.
“Playing in midfield has made him a much better player, but it’s now time to move into central defence, and do things quicker, with a little bit more urgency and don’t be as casual.
“I think there’s a very good central defender in there.
“In fact, if I was with Mourinho I’d be saying: ‘You’ve got to play him there. It’s time now to move him into a central defensive position’.
“He’s got the qualities; he was playing at right-back, centre-back and as part of a defensive three in the early part of his career at Spurs.
“I think that he thinks he’s a player – and that’s great, you need that.
“He enjoys playing in midfield and may feel moving into defence is a step backwards, but it isn’t actually.
“It would enhance his career and I believe he’d be closer to getting into the England team if he moves into that position.”
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