Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur shared the spoils in Saturday’s early Premier League kick-off as they participated in a thrilling 2-2 draw.
Mauricio Pochettino’s return to the St. Mary’s Stadium was without doubt the main talking point before kick-off, but the game was littered with key duels between two genuinely exciting teams.
Saints striker Graziano Pelle won his battle with Spurs’ top scorer Harry Kane, scoring both the of the hosts’ goals, plus Morgan Schneiderlin certainly got the better of midfield pair Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb.
Yet, one area where the Lilywhites found success was out wide, and in Eric Dier they had the best full-back on the pitch, both from a defensive and an attacking perspective.
|Assists||Tackles||Effective Clearances||Defensive Duels Won||Aerial Duels Won||Ball Recoveries||Accurate Passes||Mins Played|
As per the table provided by Opts Stats, the 21-year-old was impressive throughout and outshone Saints right-back Nathaniel Clyne in five key areas.
Aside from assisting Nacer Chadli’s second-half equaliser, Dier was impressive going forward and contributed 50 accurate passes.
Defensively, he was up against Steven Davies and performed well – making six effective clearances, winning five defensive duels and recording three ball recoveries.
Clyne has often been tipped for a regular England spot following his impressive performances this season, but as far as Saturday goes he only got the better of Dier in one area, recording seven ball recoveries.
Former Sporting Lisbon youth star Dier is predominantly a centre-back, making his performance in the absence of the injured Kyle Walker all the more remarkable.
The 21-year-old has often been an underrated figure at White Hart Lane this season and there is no doubt that he has the potential to become something of a cult hero in North London in the near future.