England Under-21 manager Gareth Southgate has spoken to the official FA website about his decision to drop Eric Dier from the squad for this summer's European Championships.
England travel to the Czech Republic this summer for the Under-21 European Championships, and with the squad named today, manager Southgate has sprung a shock by leaving Tottenham ace Dier out of the squad, dropping him from the preliminary 27-man squad.
Speaking to The FA's official website, Southgate clarified just why he left Dier at home and chose to take the likes of Calum Chambers, Ben Gibson, Liam Moore and Michael Keane instead.
"Eric was a difficult one," he admitted. "That’s because we’ve got five very good centre-backs in that initial squad. Eric was last involved in the play-off game in Croatia and part of my thinking was that out of those five, Eric can be part of the U21s squad again next season."
Dier pulled out of the England Under-21 squad back in November to focus on his club career, and now it seems that decision has cost him a place on the plane to the Czech Republic.
Unsurprisingly, Tottenham fans were stunned by the news, blasting Southgate for taking the likes of Gibson, Keane and Moore instead of Dier, who has had a promising first season at White Hart Lane since joining from Sporting Lisbon last summer.
Spurs team-mates Tom Carroll, Alex Pritchard and Harry Kane are in the squad, but Spurs fans couldn't see past Dier's omission, reacting strongly on Twitter to the news.
Here are some of the reactions from Spurs fans as Dier is left out of the England Under-21 squad for this summer's European Championships...
Shame for Dier. His decision to miss an U21 game to concentrate on #THFC has possibly counted against him.— Alan (@hotspur423) June 2, 2015
Shame for Dier personally but the more time Poch has to work with our defence this pre-season the better. #THFC— Alan (@hotspur423) June 2, 2015
Dier's been cut? Is that a joke? Southgate is an actual idiot - leagues ahead of both Keane and Chambers. Arguably their best Defender.— Ben Wiggins (@Wiggo24) June 2, 2015
So if you want Dier to be your leader for the next campaign, why deny him the experience of a championship? Very odd logic from Southgate— Neil Metcalfe (@Metcalficus) June 2, 2015
Shocked & dismayed to see Eric Dier not make England U21 squad!? Congrats to Kane, Carroll & Pritchard. Do us proud lads. #COYS— COYS News (@CoysNews) June 2, 2015
Full 23-man squad
Goalkeepers: Marcus Bettinelli (Fulham), Jonathan Bond (Watford), Jack Butland (Stoke City)
Defenders: Calum Chambers (Arsenal), Luke Garbutt (Everton), Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough), Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal), Michael Keane (Burnley), Liam Moore (Leicester City), John Stones (Everton), Matt Targett (Southampton)
Midfielders: Tom Carroll (Tottenham Hotspur), Nathaniel Chalobah (Chelsea), Jake Forster-Caskey (Brighton & Hove Albion), Will Hughes (Derby County), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Alex Pritchard (Tottenham Hotspur), Nathan Redmond (Norwich City), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
Forwards: Saido Berahino (West Bromwich Albion), Danny Ings (Burnley), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)