‘Leadership’ – Gareth Southgate reveals why he recalled Eric Dier to England

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Gareth Southgate
(Photo by Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Tottenham Hotspur defender Eric Dier has been called up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the UEFA Nations League games with Italy and Germany, after 18 months away from the international setup.

Dier’s last appearance for England came in November 2020, against Iceland in the UEFA Nations League. He was in the national team squad for a triple header of World Cup qualifiers in March 2021, but didn’t get any minutes at that time (Transfermarkt).

After a long exile from the England squad, many had called for Dier to be given another chance thanks to his form for Spurs in the 2021/22 season. Dier was integral to Antonio Conte’s system, registering 16 clean sheets across 35 appearances (PremierLeague.com).

The central defender has continued that run of form this campaign, and even scored his first goal in competitive football for three years (Transfermarkt) at the start of the season in the 4-1 win against Southampton.

The fixtures against Italy and Germany, on September 23 and September 26 respectively, will be the final games before Gareth Southgate has to name his squad for the upcoming winter World Cup in Qatar.

Dier will know this is his one and only chance to impress the manager ahead of that all-important squad selection. Dier was a key figure in Southgate’s first major tournament, the 2018 World Cup, and even scored a goal in the Three Lions’ run to the semi-final.

The England squad announcement also sees Harry Kane in the 28-man line-up, which should come as no surprise, with the England captain in fine form currently.

Southgate had this to say about Dier in his press conference (England): “With Eric Dier, he has been playing well for a period of time.

“We think it is a really close call across our centre-backs and he has deserved to be picked back in the group.

“We know what a good character he is. He fits in with the culture and has great international experience and leadership qualities.”

Spurs Web Opinion

I’m absolutely delighted for Eric Dier, and it’s a thoroughly deserved recall to the international stage. He has worked so hard and improved so much in the last 12 months, and now I just hope he gets to make it onto the pitch in those two games and show what he can do.

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