Eric Dier

One budding young Englishman who has already spent a season with Everton is Sporting Lisbon’s defensive prodigy Eric Dier.

The 19 year-old has had an unusual start to his career, taking his footballing education with the Portuguese outfit and turning down offers to join the academy systems at Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham back in 2010.

He then joined Everton’s youth squad on a season-long loan in 2011, but a permanent switch never materialised.

The powerful defender then returned to the Primeira Liga and forced his way into the first team last season alongside Liverpool summer signing Tiago Ilori.

Dier is still a bit rough around the edges and his ultimate position remains to be seen – in his 20 senior outings for Sporting Lisbon he’s featured on both defensive flanks and in midfield, as well as in his favoured centre-back role.

A wealth of Premier League interest in the Cheltenham-born hotshot emerged on summer deadline day, where he was linked to the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Spurs once again.

Dier remains a Sporting player for now, but it seems inevitable he’ll return to the English top flight at some point in his senior career.

Having already spent a year on Merseyside with the Toffees, it could give them the inside track in regards to a permanent transfer.

Furthermore, a £4.2million release clause in the England U21’s Sporting contract makes him a very appealing low-cost punt.


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