Gareth Southgate has insisted that he wanted to invest time into the likes of Fikayo Tomori, Marc Guehi and Ben White rather than Eric Dier after leaving the Tottenham defender out of the latest England squad.
Dier has been an indispensable part of Tottenham’s backline this season and was one of the few Spurs players who performed consistently during Nuno Espirito Santo’s ill-fated four months in charge of the club.
The 28-year-old has been near flawless since Antonio Conte arrived, making the central sweeper role in the Italian’s back three his own.
Conte has even claimed that the former Sporting Lisbon man has all the attributes to be one of the best central defenders in the world (Daily Mail).
However, despite the season he has enjoyed for the Lilywhites, Southgate decided to leave Dier out of the 27-man squad for England’s upcoming Nations League fixtures against Hungary, Germany and Italy.
When asked why Dier had been left out despite his impressive displays for Spurs this season, the Three Lions boss said (via Football.London): “I agree Eric has played very well for Spurs.
“We know Eric, we don’t know some of these youngsters so we felt these are good matches to find out more about them.
“Eric is obviously playing in the middle of a three. It’s a very specific position he’s playing in and the team have been excellent at the end of the season. So we may well play with a three, we may well play with a four.
“We’ve got cover to do each of those things over the next few weeks but he’s definitely in our thinking, but at this moment we can’t give everybody time on the pitch that we’d like to and we felt that investment in time in Fikayo, Marc and Ben White, in particular, those younger ones, ahead of Eric, for this camp would be more valuable to us.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Dier has demonstrated this season that he is better than Conor Coady in the centre of a back three. I also believe that the 28-year-old is a better option than Ben White in a back four.
Southgate’s excuse about trying out youngsters does not hold merit, given that these are competitive fixtures. The Spurs star can consider himself incredibly unlucky to not make the squad.
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