Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte has suggested Eric Dier has what it takes to master the centre-back position and become one of the world’s best.
The 27-year-old has been one of the standout stars of Spurs’ largely inconsistent season, finding form under Nuno Espirito Santo, and carrying that over to Conte’s reign, where he has so far featured in every Premier League minute under the Italian.
After several years mixing between defensive midfield, centre-back and even at right-back, Dier appears to have found a stable home in the heart of Tottenham’s defence, with his attributes further up the field so far serving him well under Conte, with his task to initiate attacking moves from the back.
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It’s been a difficult few years for Dier, who has struggled for consistency and ultimately lost his place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad, missing out on the chance to reach the Euro 2020 final in the summer, but Conte believes there is still so much more to come from the former Sporting CP youth player.
Speaking ahead of Tottenham’s League Cup quarter-final clash against rivals West Ham, Conte said: “Eric Dier can become one of the best players in the world in that position.
“For sure he needs to work and continue to improve and understand the movement with the defensive line.
“He has to lead more, because in that position you have to speak a lot because you have to stay in the middle, at the back where you can see everything.
“He has a great space for improvement but we are talking about a really good player, strong physically with a good personality and good technically because he was a midfielder.
“This role is perfect for him. He has to continue this way because he can become one of the best central defenders.”