Former Tottenham striker Darren Bent has admitted that he is not a fan of Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld partnering each other at centre-back due to their lack of pace.
Dier looks to be Jose Mourinho’s first choice after he started all four league matches to date this season, with Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez seemingly competing to be his main partner.
Sanchez got the nod to start at Old Trafford alongside the England international for the 6-1 against Manchester United prior to the international break.
While the Colombian’s clumsy early challenge on Anthony Martial saw the home side being awarded a penalty which Bruno Fernandes easily dispatched, he put in a pretty solid display after that, although Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s side hardly threatened with ten men.
Dier had a clumsy moment against Belgium after his poor challenge on Romelu Lukaku saw the away side being awarded a penalty.
The 26-year-old is a player who divides the Tottenham fan base and Bent admitted he has question marks about his mobility.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “Clearly Mourinho likes Dier. Mourinho has really liked him for a long time. He tried to sign him when he was at United.
“Even that stretch of games where they played so many games in a small amount of time, Eric Dier played in all of them. I think he trusts him and really likes him.
“I’ve got questions about his mobility a little bit, at the very highest level where you’ve got maybe speed demons around him. I question that side of it.
“As far as reading the game and defending properly I like Eric Dier and I think he’s good. Clearly, Mourinho rates him and they’ve got one there.
“It’s who do you play alongside him? If you play him and Toby both very good footballers, very strong but speed-wise, pace-wise it becomes quite predictable.
“You can’t play a high line if you play them two because the moment you play a two with Toby and Eric Dier if the centre-forward is quick you put it behind them and they can’t live with it.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Since Dier is not the most elegant of runners, people have big misconceptions about his pace. The 26-year-old is actually pretty rapid when he gets into his stride. In fact, although it might not seem like it based on his running style, he is actually faster than Sanchez over 20 to 30 yards.
Besides, we do not really play a high line when compared to most other teams in the Premier Leauge. I personally believe that the Dier-Alderweireld partnership is our best one as Sanchez makes too many unforced errors for my liking. For some reason, fans are more willing to overlook Sanchez’s mistakes than they are Dier’s.
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