When Tottenham signed Eric Dier back in the summer of 2014, it looked like a shrewd bit of business done by the club, and not just because he netted the winner on his debut against London rivals West Ham.
Arriving from Sporting Lisbon having come through the youth ranks there after moving to Portugal as a child, Tottenham were getting a very versatile player who had a very different football education compared to the rest of his compatriots.
Dier himself has spoken in the past in an interview with the Guardian about how his development in Portugal has resulted in him developing a style that is “50% Portuguese and 50% English”.
Ultimately, assessing his versatility, characteristics and how much he cost, it is not surprising that Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino rates the 24-year-old so highly.
The Argentinian coach, though, may feel like he has been slightly let down by £36m-rated (via Transfermarkt) man.
Dier’s desire to join Manchester United last summer was well-documented with Pochettino referencing how his midfielder was unsettled by the advances of Jose Mourinho (via Daily Mail), and things have not quite been the same since.
The England international’s form has dipped drastically compared to what is was during his first couple of seasons at the club, making it hard to see how can be a regular starter in the team considering that and the other options Pochettino has at his disposal.
Dier can, of course, play in central defence and in defensive midfield, but he has not shown anything in months to suggest he is a better choice at centre-half than Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld or Davinson Sanchez.
And when fit, Victor Wanyama is the more effective destroyer in midfield while Mousa Dembele has too much ability to be left on the bench for Dier.
After such a promising start to his Tottenham career, Dier has had quite the fall from grace and looks condemned to being nothing but a bit-part utility player unless performances pick up.
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience