Ledley King Stresses the Importance of England International for Tottenham Hotspur
Former Tottenham Hotspur legend Ledley King has hailed current Spurs player Eric Dier for his versatility, and praised him for his importance to the North London club, reports the London Evening Standard.
King, who started 268 matches for Spurs between 1999 and 2012 before retiring due to injury, recalled his thoughts when he first watched him put on the Lilywhites' jersey in 2015.
"I remember watching him in pre-season in Denver, and he impressed me straight away. At the time, I didn’t know he could step into midfield and perform that well."
King, who is now an ambassador for the team, continued: “I quickly saw he was capable of that and he went on to have a great season in midfield. I’m not sure what position he would say he wants to play, but he does both equally well."
“It can be difficult but playing multiple positions is the sign of a good player. When you’re competing in a tough team that’s full of top players, you’re usually happy to be on the pitch and to have a starting position. He can start and if he feels as comfortable at the back as he does in midfield, it may be no problem to him."
King then went on to discuss the England international's importance to his club side: “That’s a great strength that this Tottenham team have. They are able to play three centre-halves or two, so you can change. You’ve seen Eric either step out or step back and make subtle adjustments.
"It’s a great strength for any team to have, without having to change your personnel. It makes it a lot easier. People rotate a lot more now and that’s one of the things that surprised me about how easy it was for Eric.
"With the ball at his feet he looks very comfortable and very cultured. He doesn’t give the ball away at all but also he’s not just playing sideways and backwards, he’s turning on the ball under pressure and playing forward balls, and he’s been brilliant.”
King's praise comes as Dier celebrates spending three years at the club, after joining from Sporting Lisbon on 31 July 2014, for an estimated £4.5m. There had been rumours that Jose Mourinho had been looking to lure Dier to Old Trafford, with a £40m bid being made last week. However, with the news of Manchester United's £45m signature of Nemanja Matic from Chelsea, it appears that his future is safe at Tottenham.
And the club's fans are most definitely happy about that, with some suggesting Dier is of a higher standard to Matic.
Dier has only missed three Premier League matches in the last two seasons as his team have put forward two sustained title challenges for the first time in decades. He has also played on 19 occasions for the England national team.