Eric Dier is a future Tottenham captain, says Garth Crooks
Garth Crooks believes Eric Dier is a future captain of Tottenham.
Crooks has been impressed with Dier’s emergence as a commanding central midfielder this season. Dier has scored twice in 16 appearances, with the former Sporting Lisbon defender only missing one fixture - the goalless draw against Liverpool in the league - through suspension.
Crooks was not surprised by the 21-year-old’s first call-up to the England senior squad for the friendlies against Spain and France, and has earmarked him as a potential captain to lead the next generation of stars at White Hart Lane.
“Dier has been one of the finds of the season,” said Crooks. “I think he’s a really important player for Tottenham. He looks imposing on the pitch, he can play anywhere across the back line and he can play that defensive midfield role that he’s suddenly made his own.
“He’s not afraid to go looking and hunting for goals too so I think he can be the real deal. In my opinion he’s a future captain of the club, and such an impressive talent.”
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Dier and Dele Alli both earned deserved plaudits for their performances for England against France at Wembley on Tuesday – and Alli scored the opening goal after putting in a fearless performance at the Emirates against Arsenal in the 1-1 draw prior to the international break.
With Kyle Walker and Danny Rose ironing out some of the inconsistencies in their game this term, Crooks believes Spurs now have a core group of English players who are all comfortable working with each other.
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Andros Townsend would appear to be the only Englishman not enjoying life at White Hart Lane at present, having recently been dropped from the squad after an altercation with a fitness coach, but Crooks feels it is up to the winger to convince Mauricio Pochettino of his worth.
“His job is to force himself with his performances and his form into the set-up,” added Crooks, who won two FA Cups with Spurs. “You can’t blame Pochettino for picking the players he has until now, as they’ve been on top of their game.
“Andros is a talented player, of course he’ll be irritated not to be in the side, but if he works hard and his attitude is right, he does have a future at the club.”
With Chelsea struggling for form and Liverpool having overseen a managerial change, there is fresh optimism that Spurs could finish in the top four this season.
Having remained unbeaten in the league since the opening weekend of the campaign, Crooks believes Pochettino may need to make a decision on which competition to prioritise come the turn of the year, should the club still be in the Europa League.
“Spurs have a young squad that is not particularly big, so this will be the manager’s biggest challenge as he’ll be trying to get into the Champions League whilst still having a Europa League commitment,” he said. “How do you manage it? It’s a difficult one.
“What is for sure is that I’ve been very impressed with Pochettino’s selections. I think they’ve been brave and the fact he’s discovered English players at Spurs is, dare I say, a real innovation these days - but it’s working for him and the fans love it.
“It’s come at a time where there’s a real chance, if they continue the way they played against Arsenal, of taking fourth spot seriously. If Leicester are in there there’s no reason why Tottenham Hotspur can’t be.”
Crooks is also pleased to see Harry Kane has rediscovered his scoring touch. “I think it was perfectly reasonable for people to question if a young player can overcome second season syndrome,” he said.
“But it looks like he’s worked extremely hard on the training pitch, the manager’s persevered with him and he’s come good.”
Garth Crooks was attending the European launch of the Serafino 4th Edge, the new generation football boot that challenges convention, which will be available to buy via kickstarter.com before Christmas from £129.99.