Eric Dier may have turned a corner after an imperious display for England against Switzerland in the Nations League third-place play-off on Sunday.
Dier endured a mixed season with Tottenham Hotspur, routinely finding himself out of favour under Mauricio Pochettino in north London.
He made a total of 28 appearances in all competitions and was left out of the starting XI for the Champions League final, as Spurs lost 2-0 to Liverpool.
But against Switzerland, he was back to his best, breaking up play and using the ball remarkably well.
Per WhoScored, Dier had 121 touches of the ball in central midfield, more than any other player on the pitch.
He attempted a total of 103 passes, with a completion rate of 86%. His 89 accurate passes were more than any other player.
Dier did not complete a dribble but, really, he didn’t have to.
Alongside Jesse Lingard and Ross Barkley in midfield, Dier was able to merely pop the ball off and allow those around him to make the running. He capped his performance with an excellently taken penalty in the shootout, which England won.
He has seemingly been unable to do that in north London with Spurs, however, struggling to move the ball and often getting caught in possession.
Perhaps this was Switzerland’s lack of pressure allowing him the time to weigh his every move, or perhaps it was the fact that his confidence had grown after being selected to play from the start.
Indeed, Dier’s position is under threat at international level too; Declan Rice’s emergence as perhaps the best defensive midfielder in the country could see the Spurs star phased out.
With Euro 2020 looming large on the horizon, Dier will need more performances like this if he is to earn his way into Gareth Southgate’s squad.
He has had an inauspicious year in north London but this season offers a chance at redemption and at proving himself once more.
Dier has won a total of 39 caps for England; he needs to keep playing like this if he is to add to that tally across Europe next summer.