By 90Min
March 21, 2018

Gareth Southgate is reportedly ready to deploy Eric Dier in a central defensive trio against the Netherlands and Italy, in a bid to find a tactical master plan ahead of the FIFA World Cup.

Tottenham utility man Dier has been played in a defensive midfield role for England in recent yeats but, with a lack of centre defenders within his latest squad, the Telegraph has reported that the 24-year-old may be used in Southgate's backline.

The Spurs ace, who may also captain the side in the absence of injured club and international teammate Harry Kane, is likely to be shunted back into the heart of defence alongside Manchester City's John Stones and Leicester's Harry Maguire.

Clive Rose/GettyImages

Chelsea veteran Gary Cahill has not been selected for Southgate's latest 27-man party as the ex-Middlesbrough boss looks to run the rule over other potential stars ahead of naming his squad for the summer tournament in Russia.

With Cahill not available, Dier should be the next option to play with Stones and Maguire, and be given the freedom to step out into midfield to help instigate attacks alongside Southgate's midfield duo.

Dier and Liverpool's Jordan Henderson have failed to create much in the way of chances from deep lying positions for England recently and, with the likes of Jack Wilshere available to him, Southgate may opt to deploy the Arsenal playmaker in the centre of the park with Henderson.

Clive Rose/GettyImages

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That would allow Dier to take up a spot in defence and give Southgate another tactical option in Russia, providing this particular plan is utilised to good effect in the friendlies with Holland and I Azzurri.

Dier is no stranger to being shunted around the park with his Premier League side, and would have no issues being moved around to accommodate other star men.

Manchester United's Chris Smalling was another notable absentee in Southgate's squad - a decision which is said to have surprised some of his players.

However, the former defender has not been impressed with the 28-year-old's form at Old Trafford recently and elected to look at other options with the World Cup only three months away.

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