Journalist Darren Lewis has raised concerns over Eric Dier’s future at Tottenham Hotspur, claiming the Englishman is more suited to a centre-midfield role.
Dier has started all but one of Spurs’ 14 Premier League games so far this season, holding down a place among the three centre-backs.
However, it was his error that led to Mohamed Salah’s second goal, with Tottenham falling to a 2-1 defeat against Liverpool on Sunday.
Speaking on the TalkSport GameDay podcast, he said: “I’m always fascinated by Eric Dier, because I don’t think he’s a centre-half, although managers who’ve achieved a lot in the game deploy him in that position.
“But I think he’s a midfielder. I think he’s a much better midfielder than a centre-half and, as you say, the mistakes underline his ability to retain his focus during a match.
“He’s a really good player, but just not in that position, and I said before on the pod, I know that Conte has a huge interest in Bastoni at Inter Milan and one or two other centre-halves, and I think when he’s finished his overall recruitment, I don’t think Dier will be in that backline.
“I think it will be Romero, Bastoni or another. I don’t even think they’ll play with a five, I think they’ll play with a four with two centre-halves.”
TIF Thoughts on Lewis’ comments…
Will Dier go to the World Cup?
The £92k-per-week ace has been mainly used in the backline in recent seasons and hasn’t played consistently in the engine room for a number of years, so it would be a massive call from Conte to suddenly cast Dier aside.
This season, he is the side’s highest-rated defender according to WhoScored, and given that Bastoni is left-footed, we believe Ben Davies would be more susceptible to losing his place than Dier. However, if Lewis is right and a change in formation is afoot, perhaps Dier will be looking nervously over his shoulder.