England legend Stuart Pearce believes that Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou may have already made his mind up on Eric Dier. The out-of-favour defender is widely expected to draw a line under nine-and-a-half seasons at Spurs and move on this winter.
Despite boasting over 350 appearances for the north Londoners, it was clear from the start of the season that Dier’s attributes don’t line up with Postecoglou’s death-defying brand of football. As a result, the 29-year-old has made just two Premier League appearances this term – one of which from the bench – totalling 146 minutes of action.
The final nail was perhaps hammered into his Spurs coffin back in November, when injuries to starting centre-backs Cristian Romero and Micky van de Ven saw Postecoglou turn to full-backs Emerson Royal and Ben Davies, with Dier left untouched on the bench.
Now, Pearce expects the England international to seek out a new challenge. “If you’re not a first-team starter at his age, there’s every chance [he could leave],” he told Express Sport, in association with Prime Video.
“It might well have made Ange’s mind up that he’s going to move him on. He’s had a look at him over the last few months, and the way Tottenham play with a high-court press, which leaves them very exposed at the back, Van de Ven showed that he can play in that role because of his pace.
“The players that do actually play there will have to be confident of playing one-on-one or two-on-two. He’s got to be confident that he’s got two mobile players at the heart of that back line who are going to be able to handle that full-court press and the exposure that throws up. Eric Dier doesn’t owe Tottenham anything so he might view this as a good time to move on.”
Postecoglou admitting that finding centre-back cover in the transfer market will be a high priority is another blatant sign that change is afoot. “It’s fair to say that we can’t run the risk of that [injury crisis] happening again, so that’s obviously a priority for us in January,” the Aussie explained.
“But again, we’ve got to get the right person. It’s not just about bringing another body in, it’s about getting the right one in and hopefully that’ll happen.”
Prime Video is broadcasting 20 Premier League fixtures this season, including a full round of fixtures in December, featuring matches such as Luton vs Arsenal, Manchester United vs Chelsea and Aston Villa vs Manchester City – plus every Boxing Day match.