Former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips believes Eric Dier’s positional change could free up a midfield role for Tanguy Ndombele.
Dier started at centre-back in all of Tottenham’s first four matches since the restart of the season before being handed a four-match suspension.
The centre-half earlier this week put pen to paper on a new deal with the club that runs until 2024 and has reiterated his desire to become on the best central defenders in the Premier League (Spurs TV).
Meanwhile, Ndombele struggled for game time when the league resumed, only managing 64 minutes of football (transfermarkt) before his season was ended by a knee injury.
The midfielder’s relationship with Jose Mourinho is reported to be strained (The Athletic) and there have been suggestions that Spurs could cut their losses on the 23-year-old after just one season (L’Equipe).
Phillips believes the fact that Dier will now take his place in the heart of the defence could help the former Lyon man win a place in the Tottenham starting eleven.
Reacting to Dier penning a new deal with the club, Phillips told Football Insider: “It is always good to have a utility player in your squad.
“He is like Milner at Liverpool as he can play all sorts of positions.
“Mourinho sees him as a centre-half so that could be his solution for next season.
“If he comes out of the midfield area it may free up a slot for Ndombele who might perform next season.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Every indication coming from Jose seems be that Dier is set to be a mainstay at centre-back next season. However, the England international being moved to the backline does not affect Ndombele at all as the Spurs boss seems reluctant to use the Frenchman in the pivot anyway.
Even if Ndombele wins his place back in the side next season, I suspect it will be in a slightly more advanced role, rather than the role he played at Lyon. Not only are Winks and Sissoko ahead of him in the pecking order but it looks like we are about to bring in another defensive midfielder this summer.
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