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Spurs Boss Admits That He Still Has Not Figured Out The Best Position For England Star

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Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has acknowledged that he has kept changing his mind on which position best suits Eric Dier.

Since arriving at White Hart Lane from Sporting Lisbon in 2014, the England international has been deployed in a string of different positions. Prior to his arrival, a reputation for versatility was almost non-existent but the 23-year-old has earned merits having played as a centre-back, right-back and central midfielder during Pochettino’s three campaigns at the helm.

Last season, he impressed down to the ground as a defensive midfielder, forming a near-telepathic partnership with Mousa Dembele. His contribution was crucial for the north London club’s best finish in a generation. When it looked like the anchor role was solely shackled to him, the former Southampton boss sprang a surprise by signing Victor Wanyama last summer. The Kenyan midfielder mesmerised from day one and snatched Dier’s favourite position.

This season, Dier was dropped deeper as a central defender, mainly due to injuries to first-choice pair Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld. With a towering height and strong physical presence, he filled the void like a seasoned defender and when the manager opted for a three-man wall, he was nothing but tailor-made to justify the role.

Pochettino has affirmed about the importance of Dier in his current squad and the value of his much-needed versatility but also hints that he has not completely made his mind about the player’s ideal position.

“For different reasons I am very happy with Eric Dier,” mentioned Pochettino, as quoted by the club’s official website. “If you remember, two-and-a-half years ago when he arrived at the club, he scored in my first official game against West Ham in injury time.

“He started to play like a centre-back next to Younes Kaboul, then Kyle Naughton was sent off and he moved to right-back and he finished like a winger because the goal was unbelievable.

“Then he developed different possibilities to play, playing in the (England) Under-21s and in his second season here and that is very important.

“He is very young and every time (he plays in) different positions it doesn’t affect him in his performances. He plays well as a full-back, a centre-back or a midfielder. That is a big advantage and he is a very good player for us.”

Even once the squad is without any injuries, Dier seems too good to be pushed to the bench yet again. The Englishman has racked up 30 appearances for Spurs this season in all competitions, 28 of which have been starts, a remarkable record only bettered by Victor Wanyama and Christian Eriksen, each of whom has secured 29 starts. Also, since signing for the Lilywhites, he has made 117 appearances and boasts 14 caps for his country. Respectable figures considering his age.

It would be quite interesting to see how the 44-year-old will work on his blueprint to fit Dier as his side are still combating in three competitions.

Pochettino brings his second-placed side to square off Liverpool at Anfield today looking to close the gap on table-toppers Chelsea.

Jurgen Klopp’s team, on the other hand, have severely struggled to cope when key players are absent due to injuries and participation in international duties. In similar situations, Spurs have maintained their momentum, which highlights the importance of squad depth to keep pace in the title race.

No team would be coming in for a draw, that would be naïve or childlike, considering the closeness of points within the top six.

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