Now this much anticipated 2014/2015 Premier League is in full swing, a number of new players have burst onto the scene from across the continent. Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas have shone brightly so far with their new club Chelsea, Alexis Sanchez has graced the Emirates and Mario Balotelli had a promising debut for Liverpool at the weekend.
However, one player that has caught the eye in surprising fashion is Tottenham Hotpsur’s newest recruit Eric Dier. The Cheltenham born defender has taken an unusual but fascinating route in order to secure his move to White Hart Lane and start with great impact in England’s top flight.
It all started after Euro 2004, where Dier was forced to move to Portugal due to work commitments in his family. He was then spotted by scouts of Portuguese outfit Sporting Lisbon after playing in a school match in the Algarve.
Sporting Lisbon has a world renowned reputation of developing young talent that have gone onto bigger and better things. The likes of Nani, Joao Moutinho, Luis Figo, and of course, Cristiano Ronaldo to name but a few.
After being made captain in each of Sporting Lisbon age group teams, Dier made his first team debut at the tender age of 19. In 2011, the promising defender returned to English soil to join Everton on a loan deal, something Sporting Lisbon thought would be beneficial for him due to the competitive environment at Goodison Park.
Despite being an instant hit with the Spurs faithful, Dier had other suitors that could have tempted him not to make the move to North London. The Toffees were interested in taking back Dier, as well as Newcastle United. However, with the Lilywhites’ new manager paying £4million for him, this looks like one of the best bits of business in this pulsating transfer window, not to mention that he has firmly cemented his place in Gareth Southgate’s England U-21 squad.
As an English defender, who has played most of his football abroad, Dier, who can also operate as a centre half as well as a full back, Dier possesses some European attributes that the England senior team craves after their dismal display at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Strong, ruthless, calm under pressure and skilful, Three Lions manager Roy Hodgson surely has to consider promoting him from the under-21 side to the senior squad in the near future.
However, with Hodgson unsurprisingly completely ignoring Dier, and instead picking Phil Jagielka, the youngster has made an excellent start to his Tottenham Hotspur career with two clean sheets and two goals in his first two games under his belt.
Once more, he has all of the attributes that the England national team has missed. This English defender, who plays like a European footballer, has the early signs of being the next Rio Ferdinand, Tony Adams or, dare I say it, Bobby Moore. This is a huge statement, however, for a nation that is on a downward spiral in football terms, but Eric Dier could change all that in years to come.