Tottenham Hotspur defender Eric Dier heads in to Saturday’s clash at home to Aston Villa as arguably the club’s most underrated star based on recent performances.
The England U21 international joined Spurs last summer, moving to the Premier League from Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon.
His relative inexperience and, perhaps, lack of self-confidence was on show at the beginning of the campaign, causing plenty of supporters to question Mauricio Pochettino’s decision to stick with him.
Yet, since the beginning of spring, the Argentine’s judgement has been justified as Dier has recorded a number of solid performances and helped his side’s push towards a Europa League place.
|Tackles per Game||Interceptions per Game||Effective Clearances per Game||Defensive Duels Won per Game||Aerial Duels Won per Game||Ball Recoveries per Game||Accurate Passes per Game||Appearances|
As per the table provided by Opts Stats, the youngster has been impressive in the key defensive categories as Spurs have claimed 10 points from their previous five Premier League encounters.
Despite his side shipping three goals apiece against Manchester United and Leicester City, Dier was rarely at fault and in contrast came off the field holding his head high.
Over the past five matches, he has recorded 2.8 interceptions, 7.8 effective clearances, 5.4 defensive duel winners and 3.8 aerial duel winners on average per league fixture.
In Dier’s last encounter against Burnley at Turf Moor, he put in a Man of the Match performance and was rightfully praised by both supporters and pundits alike after the match.
The proposition of facing Christian Benteke is likely to prove a tricky task for the Spurs man on Saturday, though on recent form, and with the backing of the White Hart Lane crowd, there is little reason why he can’t come out on top.