For some people who grew up in Portugal, living in London can feel a long way from home. This however, couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to Eric Dier. In the last 3 years, his rise to the top has been incredible.
Dier moved to Portgual aged just 7, when his Mother was offered a job running the hospitality programme at Euro 2004. His footballing story began in 2011, when he signed for Sporting CP after impressing scouts from an early age in Portugal.
Unknown to some, Dier spent some time as a teenager on loan at Everton, representing their U18s team on 10 occasions. However, he found it difficult to resettle back in England and returned to Sporting.
In August 2012, he made his debut for Sporting CP, and 3 months later he scored his first goal for the club, a free kick against Benfica in a 3-1 victory.
2nd August 2014. A day he will never forget. Dier signed for Tottenham for just £4million on a 5-year contract. Just 2 weeks later he made his debut, and scored the winner in a 1-0 victory at West Ham, a game that we all remember well! In his first season, he was used mainly as a centre back, but also made numerous appearances at right back.
But 2015-16 was when the real Eric Dier was born. Pochettino moved him in to midfield, to play the anchoring role in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Initially there were question marks about his mobility and ability in possession, but he has proved all the doubters wrong. He has made that position for club and now country his own and is one of the first names on the team sheet for Pochettino.
This season has been much of the same for Dier, and his passing ability has really kicked on again to another level. In the Premier League his stats are impressive in the 2017-18 season so far, with an 88% pass success rate. His versatility so far this season has been as impressive, slotting in at centre back in certain games due to injuries or rotation, and he has looked equally as strong in that role, most notably against Real Madrid where he filled in for the injured Alderweireld with ease.
England have recognised his ability and form, and he was named captain for the two friendlies against Germany and Brazil, a moment that Dier himself described as a ‘kids dream’.
Dier represents everything that Pochettino wants from his players. Aggression, adaptability, determination, and leadership. You can understand why Pochettino plays him week in week out.
I love Eric Dier, Eric Dier loves me.
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