Legendary Tottenham Hotspur figure Gary Mabbutt has jumped to the defence of Eric Dier after Gareth Southgate’s decision to select the versatile defender.
In the wake of the squad announcement QPR striker, Charlie Austin told TalkSport that the 45-cap man’s inclusion reeked of big club bias.
“As a manager, I think you look back on players that have done well for you, players who have always been consistent for you, and that you can rely on. Eric Dier, I think has been one of those players for England.
“Certainly when he first got in the side and first made his name in the side, I think he was the number one choice and was a regular for a spell. And it’s always going to happen, players are always going to be having good parts of the season, not so good parts of a season.
“If suddenly you may have a little dip in form that’s down to the individual player. And that’s the strength of character that you’re looking for. Then you look at the players who you’re dealing with, ‘has that player got that strength of character that I need?’
“And when you look a player like Eric Dier, he’s a player that has got that.”
There’s no doubt Dier’s form dipped prior to his omission from the Spurs lineup, averaging 6.92 with SofaScore over the course of his 21 Premier League outings – Dier’s last two appearances brought about 6.8 and 6.7 ratings respectively.
However, the man described as ‘sensational’ by former Tottenham and England midfielder Jermaine Jenas, offers additional versatility to any squad with his ability to play in numerous defensive and midfield positions.