Tottenham Hotspur host Everton this weekend in a Premier League clash which will see defensive midfielders Gareth Barry and Eric Dier go head to head.
The latter has been the very definition of versatile since joining Spurs last summer, playing at centre-back, right-back and now as a holding midfielder as the club shuffle the pack around.
Spurs head coach Mauricio Pochettino has been left rather short in the middle, but the performances of Dier have been somewhat of a bright spark in an otherwise forgettable start to the season.
The former Sporting Lisbon ace is really growing into his role, but how does he compare with upcoming midfield opponent Gareth Barry who at 34 is 13 years his senior?
|Tackles per Game||Effective Clearances per Game||Interceptions per Game||Aerial Winners per Game||Def Duel Winners per Game||Ball Recoveries per Game||Accurate Passes per Game||Appearances|
As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Everton’s experienced midfielder is an expert at providing the necessary protection to his defence and comes into the match in excellent form.
Barry has so far outperformed Dier in five key categories, averaging more tackles, effective clearances, interceptions, ball recoveries and accurate passes per Premier League fixture.
The former Manchester City man has a unique role in Roberto Martinez’s side, and he will often be found playing almost as a centre-back as the Toffees look to pass their way out from the back.
Dier, on the other hand, hasn’t quite perfected his new role in the Spurs team but that shouldn’t detract from what has been a very good start to the season from an individual perspective.
The 21-year-old will have a busy afternoon at White Hart Lane on Saturday with a fellow young England midfielder going by the name of Ross Barkley certainly a player to watch out for.