There can be no doubt that the £4m signing of Eric Dier from Sporting Lisbon 3 years ago was a shrewd investment however what Saturday’s loss to Manchester City has proved is that against the elite teams, Dier cannot be trusted at the heart of our defence.
Since joining us, Dier has played as a makeshift right-back, centre-half and at the heart of our midfield which has proved to be the position that he has flourished the most for club and country. However, should Dier be in our first XI if we have a full squad to pick from? The three centre-halves of Sanchez, Alderweireld and Vertoghen is unquestionably ideal for the Pochettino philosophy of playing out from the back as all three defenders are composed and comfortable with the ball at their feet and it is no coincidence that all three have played for Ajax who have the well-documented philosophy of “total football”.
The physical presence of Wanyama to help shield the defence has proved to be a great signing who chipped in with 5 goals last season and was ideal for us in dealing with set-pieces which we’ve looked vulnerable from in his absence. A Wanyama/Dembele partnership in the middle of midfield for me would be first-choice although I can’t envisage Dembele at 30 years old being with us long-term due to the various time he is out of the team through injury.
Dier has proved to me to be a Jack of all trades but a master of none and should an offer of £50m have been offered for him to join Manchester United, then I would have accepted that bid as for me he is good utility player but not indispensable for what he offers to the club as we strive for progression from last season.
I would continue with the current club philosophy of investing in home-grown players such as Harry Winks or signing players of the calibre of Davinson Sanchez from Ajax who already looks a bargain at £42 million and is only 21 years old.
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