Why Toby Alderweireld’s imminent arrival could be a blessing in disguise for Tottenham's Eric Dier

It was a season of mixed fortunes for the England Under-21 international in his first year at White Hart Lane.

Atletico Madrid defender Toby Alderweireld has been strongly linked with a Tottenham Hotspur move recently and today reports emerged that a move would be completed upon his return from holiday, as per The Telegraph.

His signing would command a considerable fee and first-team guarantees are likely to be made, with him expected to partner Jan Vertonghen at the heart of Spurs' defence. That would leave Eric Dier and new signing Kevin Wimmer as back-ups with Federico Fazio likely out in the cold.

Dier arrived for £4 million from Sporting Lisbon last summer (per the BBC) and was exposed to far more first-team football then he would have anticipated.

The 21-year old had yet to even establish himself at Sporting Lisbon but found himself starting and scoring in Spurs' opening Premier League game. He went on to make 31 appearances in all competitions and had his fair share of ups and downs.

After starting well at right-back, his form started to dip and criticism began to increase. He was guilty of several key errors over the course of the season and was scapegoated at various points.

His potential is undeniable and he ended the season strongly but perhaps he was the victim of over-exposure and a smoother bedding-in process would have eliminated some of the individual errors.

Alderweireld’s signing would allow the young Spur a little breathing space. He would still see plenty of game time in cup competitions and Premier League rotation but the pressure will be less intense.

He gave a glimpse into his mentality earlier this year when he declined to join up with the Under-21s so he could stay at Spurs and work on his defending, as reported in The Standard.

Such an attitude suggests he will not sulk at no longer being first choice but will see it as an opportunity to develop his game under less scrutiny.

At 21 and 22 years old respectively, Dier and Wimmer are at the young end of the scale in terms of senior centre-backs and would benefit from having an established pair of Premier League defenders to emulate.

There's no need to rush for Dier, and a season of relative serenity after the chaos of last year could do him the world of good.

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