Martin Keown admits Eric Dier should be a centre-back, addresses Tottenham’s signings

The former Arsenal man believes Tottenham youngster Dier should be a defender.

Speaking to the Mail, Martin Keown admitted that Eric Dier should be a long-term centre-back, despite him being played as a defensive midfielder in pre-season.

He said: “Eric Dier is a player I rate highly and I see him as a long-term centre-half, even if Mauricio Pochettino has been playing him in front of the back four in pre-season. Alderweireld can do the same thing so that increases their options defensively.”

Dier arrived at Spurs as a defender, and featured at both right-back and centre-back in his debut season. Although his attacking play from full-back looked good, many believe he is a more natural centre-back, and Keown agrees with this view.

However, head coach Pochettino has changed his role up again in pre-season, utilising the young Englishman in defensive midfield due to a lack of cover.

He has impressed, but there are doubts about his suitability for the role. Although solid with the ball at his feet, and good at reading the play ahead of him - a valuable trait at centre-back - he does not cope well with being under pressure.

It is likely that Dier will play this midfield role during the season, if needed, but as Keown highlights, Toby Alderweireld can also play that role - and is far more accomplished.

The former Arsenal man also went on to address other Tottenham signings, praising Kieran Trippier, but also admitting that they still look weak in the attacking areas.

He added: “I like Kieran Trippier, I always thought somebody would end up taking him from Burnley but that creates pressure for Kyle Walker. It seems like Spurs are shopping more within their means but they still look a bit short up front. Harry Kane has to prove he’s not a one-season wonder but something has to give with Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado because neither are working anymore.”

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch