By 90Min
November 10, 2017

There's no question that since the £11.5m acquisition of Toby Alderweireld from Altletico Madrid, Tottenham's defence have improved massively, but with the Belgian facing a long-term hamstring injury, it's time for English Stalwart, Eric Dier, to seize the opportunity.

It's no coincidence that Alderweireld's absence last autumn through injury, led to Spurs worst period of the season. The 28-year-old was hugely missed in the consecutive 2-1 defeats to both Monaco and Chelsea in November, which destabilised the north London outfit.


The ex-Atleti stalwart's impact is also clear to see, when looking at the stats. Spurs conceded 53 goals in the 2014 season, but after the Belgian's introduction in the team, they conceded as few as 35 in the 2015 campaign. After becoming further ingratiated in the side, the north London outfit conceded a mere 26 in 2016.

Pochettino is unlikely to be too worried about his absence though, stating in his new book (via ESPN): "Eric thinks he's further ahead as a midfielder than as a defender. We had a long chat about that because I disagree. I've told Eric he has what it takes to be the best English centre-back but he has to be convinced of that himself."

Matthew Lewis/GettyImages

The versatile Englishman has proven himself to be a great asset to manager Mauricio Pochettino so far this campaign, excelling at playing in defensive midfield, or as part of a back three. However it seems he may have to raise his game even further to accommodate the loss of his team-mate as he steps into the centre.

With the emergence of Harry Winks in the centre of midfield and Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama both returning from injury, it seems the Argentinian has a clear plan for Dier and envisions him in the defensive line-up.

There have certainly been errors from the Englishman; most notably allowing Martial to glide through on goal following a route one, flicked header from Romelu Lukaku in Spurs 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford. But there's plenty to be impressed about and should the 26-year-old cut out such mistakes, he could become indispensable to Tottenham. 

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