Speaking to Football Insider, pundit and talkSPORT regular Gabriel Agbonlahor has tipped Tottenham Hotspur defender Eric Dier for a Dele Alli-esque exile by manager Jose Mourinho – going on to say he’s never really rated the Englishman.
Dier, who was dropped by Mourinho for three Spurs encounters before briefly returning to the starting eleven against Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday, is in danger of facing a real lack of match action according to Agbonalhor.
The 27-year-old enjoyed flashes of good form before his recent run, with Gary Neville even branding him a ‘leader’ after his performance in the last north London derby (Sky Sports via football.london).
Agbonlahor drops Dier claim
However, Agbonlahor has now tipped Dier for an extended absence from the side, and when asked if he feels the makeshift defender’s fate could be the same as Alli’s following his teammate’s lack of game time over the first half of this season, the pundit explained to Football Insider:
“I actually do, to be honest. I’ve never really rated Eric Dier as a centre-half. I look at him and he’s the perfect centre-half I would have loved to have played against. You can get in the channels, get in behind him – he hasn’t got the pace.
“He’s decent on the ball but he hasn’t got the pace.
“Sanchez has got the pace but he’s not as good as the ball but you’d rather sacrifice being good on the ball. You’re biggest attribute as a defender now is you’ve got to be able to run and match the quick strikers in the Premier League and Europe.
“I think Dier, I’d play him as a defensive midfielder in the big games.
“But I think it will be a spell on the sidelines, which is needed.”
Transfer Tavern take
Whether or not Dier will face a lack of match action akin to Alli’s spell over these final few months of the season remains to be seen, but Agbonlahor certainly makes a fair case.
As the north London derby looms, Mourinho faces a defensive dilemma over who should play in one of Tottenham’s biggest matches of 2020/2021 with none of his centre-back options really standing out and showing themselves to be the superior number one option.
In other news: Tottenham have a ‘huge’ transfer decision on the horizon, find out more here.
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