Harry Kane inevitably grabbed the headlines from Saturday’s North London Derby, scoring seven goals in as many appearances against the club that released him as a child. But in truth, Tottenham’s dominant display over Arsenal was very much a team effort that required quality in all departments, especially in a much closer first 45 minutes, and that importance of the collective was epitomised by midfielder Eric Dier.
The England international makes a case for being the least talented member of Tottenham’s starting XI on Saturday, but that shouldn’t diminish how integral he was to the result – not least because the match was very much won and lost in midfield as Spurs’ engine room increasingly overpowered Arsenal’s the more it went on.
Mousa Dembele has taken lion’s share of the plaudits for that but Dier – who Transfermarkt value at £36million – played his part as well. In fact, no Tottenham player had more touches of the ball, won more aerial duels or made more interceptions than the 24-year-old, who also ranked second for tackles, shots and passes without committing a single foul.
There were certainly more glamorous individual performances on Saturday, but few as effective as Dier’s at the base of midfield.