Three reasons why Tottenham should move away from Eric Dier
It has been a less than spectacular start to the season for Spurs and Mauricio Pochettino has plenty of thinking to do when the Premier League action resumes after the ongoing international break.
The Lilywhites would have hoped for blistering start to the campaign after a summer of heavy spending but the North Londoners currently find themselves with a lot of work to do if they are to go on and challenge the likes of Liverpool and Man City for the Premier League crown, having already ground on their nearest title rivals early in the season.
Well, Spurs might argue that they have had to contend with a couple of tough fixtures early in the season but making excuses isn’t really going to do any good to their title hopes. Indeed, they will be under pressure to hit top-gear when they play host to an in-form Crystal Palace side next Saturday.
Despite the likes of Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon coming through the door at Spurs this summer, it has been evident from the club’s performances thus far in the Premier League that Pochettino still has a few gaps to plug in his squad.
While the new signings are yet to make a massive impact, the manager has apparently indicated with his team selection that he is eventually looking to move a few players on, with Christian Eriksen, Victor Wanyama and Jan Vertonghen finding themselves on the bench more often than not in the opening stages of the campaign.
The likes of Dele Alli and Eric Dier are yet to play a big part in the ongoing season due to injuries. While Alli came off the bench in the North London derby against Arsenal last week, Dier hasn’t been anywhere close to the first-team picture thus far,
Agreed, Alli continues to be an indispensable component of Tottenham’s attack but the same cannot be said about the role of Eric Dier, who has struggled to make a big impact since the start of the previous campaign due to multiple spells on the sidelines.
Here are 3 reasons why Spurs should start planning for life without Dier:-
1. Lack of technical abilities
Dier quickly established himself as one of the mainstays of the club’s first-team following his move to North London from Portugal in 2014 but his influence has somewhat waned over the years.
Well, he is just about to enter his prime at 25 but the flaws in his game have been exposed more and more as time has gone by, with the opposition in the Premier League nowadays pretty much aware of how to exploit his lack of pace and agility and induce reckless challenges to get him into trouble.
Given his robust style of play, the England international continues to be a physically dominating presence at the base of the midfield but his reputation has taken a battering in recent times, thanks to his propensity for letting the team down with lapses in concentration.
Not only does he have problems in dealing with the pace and movement of quick and agile attackers during transitions in play, but Dier also lacks the technical ability to ensure the smooth running of Pochettino’s system, with his ball distribution largely limited to short lateral passes.
Moreover, Dier has proven several times in the past that he is not exactly the best option for Pochettino when it comes to playing a high-pressing system.
Dier’s patchy injury record doesn’t make him the most reliable holding midfielder in Tottenham’s ranks and much like Wanyama, the 25-year-old’s career in North London also seems to be heading down the same path. Dier was as fit as a fiddle when he first came at the club but his body has moaned and groaned far too often since the start of the previous campaign.
The Englishman is currently going through his third spell on the sidelines since the start of the 2018-19 season and after missing plenty of games last season due to his appendectomy and a subsequent groin injury, he has yet to make a solitary appearance this term.
Hence, his repeated spells on the sidelines ultimately make him dispensable for Spurs.
3. Sissoko’s resurgence and Ndombele’s arrival
Moussa Sissoko was at risk of going down in the record books as one of Spurs’ worst transfers since the turn of the century but the Frenchman has managed to breathe life back into his career in North London since the start of the last season.
The former Newcastle United man grabbed his opportunities with both hands and showcased his versatility to play in any kind of role in the midfield when Dier was out of action for a long time in the previous campaign.
Sissoko was arguably one of Spurs’ most influential players last season and he was instrumental in the team’s march to the final of the UEFA Champions League , while also playing a key role in their fourth-place finish in the Premier League.
The Frenchman has continued from where he had left last season, with his performances in the opening stages of the ongoing campaign doing a lot of justice to the confidence that Pochettino has shown in his abilities.
With his strength, tenacity and tough-tackling nature, Sissoko shares a few similar attributes with Dier in his style of play but, unlike the England international, he has a lot more pace, sharpness and agility to his game, which makes him a better fit for the Pochettino’s philosophy.
Talking about the arrival of Ndombele, he is yet to justify his worth as Spurs’ club-record signing but given his talent and potential, one would expect him to eventually fill in the void left by the departure of Mousa Dembele.
His thunderous strike against Aston Villa in the season-opener was just a reminder of what the fans should expect from him and it was apparent from the way he played at Lyon that the Frenchman has the right kind of balance in his game to make an impact in both halves of the pitch.
He is still very young at 22 and Pochettino will know that Ndombele needs regular playtime to acclimatise to the Premier League, further epitomizing the fact that Dier is likely to find his role diminished at the club in the foreseeable future.
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Plus, Dier is going to turn into a forgotten figure at Spurs if they take up the option to purchase Lo Celso permanently next summer, given teh Argentine’s ability to adapt seamlessly to holding, box-to-box and attacking roles in the midfield.