Tottenham Hotspur

Antonio Conte backs Eric Dier to become 'one of the best in the world'

By Sean Walsh
Eric Dier has been a key player under Antonio Conte
Eric Dier has been a key player under Antonio Conte / Ryan Pierse/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

Antonio Conte has claimed that Spurs defender Eric Dier can become 'one of the best players in the world' at centre-back.

Dier has remained a consistent figure in the lineup following Conte's arrival at Tottenham at the start of November, slotting seamlessly into a new role at the heart of a back-three.

Conte was asked about Dier's improvement at a press conference ahead of Spurs' Carabao Cup clash with West Ham, and he was upfront with his assessment of the England international.

"I think Eric Dier can become one of the best players in the world in that position," Conte said.

"I think that position [in the middle of a back three] is perfect for him. For sure, he needs to work, to continue to improve and understand very well the movement with the defensive line.

"He has to lead the defensive line because in that position you have to speak a lot because you stay in the middle and at the back - you can see everything.

"I think he has great space for improvement. We are talking about a really good player - [he's] strong physically, good personality, good technically because he was a midfielder. This role is perfect for him. He has to continue this way."

Dier arrived at Tottenham as a centre-back from Sporting CP in 2014, though initially broke into the team at right-back.

Mauricio Pochettino, who brought him to north London, then opted to use him primarily as a defensive midfielder due to a lack of cover in that position, while he also made appearances in a back three alongside Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.

Dier was very vocal about his desire to continue his career as a centre-back and has almost exclusively played at the heart of defence following Pochettino's departure, restored to his natural position under Jose Mourinho, Ryan Mason, Nuno Espirito Santo and now Conte.


For more from Sean Walsh, follow him on Twitter!

facebooktwitterreddit