Tottenham have had a hot-and-cold campaign, but the reformed central midfielder has been a standout.
After the summer purchase of Toby Alderweireld and the resumption of a central defensive partnership with compatriot Jan Vertonghen, it looked like Eric Dier was set for a campaign on the fringes.
However, with no space for the former Sporting Lisbon youngster to play at the back, Mauricio Pochettino opted to trial the defender in midfield in pre-season and has stuck with Dier as an enforcer in front of the team’s back four since.
Given that the 21-year-old had not played in midfield previously in the Premier League, most probably expected that it would take time for him to adjust to the position change.
But, despite some fleeting moments where his inexperience in the role has been evident, Dier has been a solid member of the Spurs starting XI and looked accomplished in his new position.
With Nabil Bentaleb starting the new season slowly and both Ryan Mason and Mousa Dembele suffering injury-blighted times of it of late, Dier has been a real plus for the North London side.
Able on the ball, positionally sound and physical in winning possession back, there is a case to suggest that the Cheltenham-born man has been the White Hart Lane outfit’s best player so far in 2015-16.
The verdict on Pochettino may well still be out for some of the club’s fans, but few would begrudge him credit in seeing the potential Dier has to feature in the boiler room.
In an ongoing project, someone of the versatile enforcer’s ilk will be important for Spurs in their mission to get back into the top four and the Argentine trainer must take the kudos for the experiment that has so far went swimmingly.
*article edited for inaccuracies