England told why Tottenham Hotspur’s Eric Dier deserves to start at the 2022 FIFA World Cup
Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan, talking exclusively to Football Insider, has claimed that Tottenham Hotspur defender Eric Dier deserves to start for England at the 2022 FIFA World Cup alongside Manchester City’s John Stones.
The English centre-back was named in manager Gareth Southgate’s 26-man squad for Qatar after returning to the Three Lions set-up this September. He was absent from the 2020 UEFA European Championship with England.
And he could be set to start for the 1966 World Cup winners when they take the field against Iran later this month. Whelan believes that Dier’s form at the club level this season makes him a deserving candidate for the starting berth.
“I think so [If Dier should start for England alongside Stones]. I think we’ve seen a massive improvement in Eric Dier since Conte’s come into the football club. There’s no doubt that he’s been one of the better performers for Tottenham this season and for England when he’s had his opportunity.”
Dier has been a rock-solid presence in our defence ever since manager Antonio Conte took over the helm in November 2021. The former Sporting CP defensive midfielder has scored twice in 50 games across competitions under the former Inter Milan manager.
Whelan is also not surprised about Dier’s inclusion due to the player’s versatility. He can play as a defensive midfielder which could be useful given Kalvin Phillips’ fitness problems at Manchester City this season.
“It doesn’t surprise me because you’ve got another player who can play in different positions. He can play in the midfield, as a defensive midfielder and at centre-half. You’ve got a player who can adapt to a system that Gareth might need throughout that World Cup with injuries and suspensions.”
Harry Kane is expected to captain the Three Lions in Qatar where they will look to win just their second World Cup in history. Harry Maguire of Manchester United has also made the cut.
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But the former Leicester City defender’s form under manager Erik ten Hag could mean that Dier has a clear pathway towards starting in Southgate’s expected three-man backline. The Three Lions are expected to make it out of a group that contains Wales, the United States of America, and Iran.