Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has been told to ‘hold back’ by talkSPORT pundit Tony Cascarino after the Italian’s message on Eric Dier.
The Lowdown: Dier excelling…
The former Sporting Lisbon star has been shining as a member of Conte’s back three at Spurs, prompting England boss Gareth Southgate to grant him a recall to the national team squad.
Dier will travel with the Three Lions for their upcoming UEFA Nations League matches against Italy and Germany with members of the media even saying that his inclusion is ‘long overdue’.
The 28-year-old is one of just three Spurs players who have featured for every single Premier League minute so far this term, with Dier putting in another brilliant display yesterday against Leicester City.
The Latest: Cascarino criticises Conte after Dier message…
While Cascarino said that Dier has been brilliant over the last two months, the talkSPORT pundit has moved quickly to refute Conte’s latest message on the player.
Spurs’ head coach drew comparisons with Italian footballing legend Leonardo Bonucci, claiming that the Englishman can ‘replicate’ the Juventus captain.
After Conte’s statement, Cascarino has told the ex-Inter Milan boss to ‘hold back’, saying:
“He’s had a decent start to the season but comparing him to Bonucci is a bit of a long one for me at the moment, I’d hold back on that one.
“I wouldn’t have that he’s as versatile as Bonucci, maybe he was a failed midfielder more than a midfielder, he didn’t pull up any trees.
“I think he’s not bad, I’m still reserved in my opinion over the course of a season on Dier.”
The Verdict: Too soon?
Dier has been fantastic for Spurs this season and deserves praise from both Conte and the media. That being said, the season is a long one, and before measuring the Englishman’s contribution overall, we must judge him based off a whole campaign.
However, the 28-year-old shone as part of Conte’s back three over 2021/22, making more clearances per 90 than any Spurs player whilst racking up the second-most blocks in that time (WhoScored).
In terms of likeness to Bonucci, it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that Dier could replicate the 35-year-old’s leadership qualities in the Lilywhites dressing room – especially given his experience of 328 appearances for the club and 45 caps for England.
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