Former Leeds United defender Danny Mills has tipped Eric Dier to help fill the void by the potential departure of Jan Vertonghen.
Vertonghen’s contract with Spurs runs out in the summer and he is expected to leave the club after eight years in North London (Football Insider).
Dier’s career has stalled over the past year partly to injury and illness and the 26-year-old has struggled to regain his previous form upon his return to the side.
Although he has been a regular fixture in the team since Jose Mourinho arrived in November, the England international has opened up about his desire to play as a centre-half rather than a defensive midfielder (Evening Standard).
Former Tottenham goalkeeper Paul Robinson recently suggested that Dier’s versatility has ended up costing him as he is often the first one to be moved to accommodate others.
However, Mills disagrees with that assessment and believes that Dier’s ability to play in various roles has helped him get more game time.
He claims that the Spurs star could provide the cover which Mourinho’s defence would require due to Vertonghen’s absence from the back line.
Mills told Football Insider: “It benefits him [Dier] that he is a utility player. He has experience in those positions.
“That is a big bonus for him and sometimes you need squad players. You need a player like Dier in and around the squad.
“If they are going to lose Vertonghen, without a shadow of a doubt, you need somebody that can slot in when and needs be.
“He does not seem like the sort of player that causes issues, so there is no reason why you would not want to keep hold of a player of that calibre.
“Inevitably he will be a squad player and play 20 odd games a season and he will benefit from Mourinho liking to play defensively.”
Spurs Web Opinion
I have always believed Dier’s best position is at centre-back, particularly in a back three. I believe he played his best football for us when he played alongside Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld as a part of a back three during the 2016/17 season. He doesn’t have the positional awareness to become a top defensive midfielder but he has all the attributes to evolve into a top centre back.
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