71 touches, 9 duels won: Eric Dier shines in front of Hodgson for Spurs

Audi Cup 2015

The England Under-21 man could see a call-up to Roy Hodgson's full side after impressing in Tottenham sensational win over Manchester City on Saturday.

Tottenham youngster Eric Dier has emerged as a genuine solution to England's lack of defensive midfielders this season, proving himself capable of impressing in a third defensive position on the field.

His performance against Manchester City in the 4-1 win at White Hart Lane would certainly have caught Roy Hodgson's eye, and came alongside another young Englishman in Dele Alli, a player the Three Lions boss was already said to be considering.

  PositionTeamTouchesAccurate PassDuel WonAerial WonTotal TackleInterception WonFwd PassGoalsAppearancesMins Played
Eric Dier DF Tottenham 71 38 6 3 2 5 21 1 1 90

Against City, Dier was a vital reason why Spurs seized control in the second half. The 21-year-old's goal saw his side equalise just before half-time, but throughout the match he was on the ball, boasting the second highest number of touches and accurate passes in the side. Dier also made the second highest number of interceptions, and predictably won the most aerial duels. Notably for a defensive midfielder, Dier also contributed to pushing forward, making a good number of forward passes (only Hugo Lloris and Jan  Vertonghen made more).

The position Dier will settle is a matter of constant debate among Spurs fans. Of course, there is plenty of switching between central defence and defensive midfield when you look at the careers of some of the most recent top English players.

Gareth Barry was someone that was famously shunted all over the pitch in his early twenties, proving himself a strong Premier League player at both fullback and centre back before moving into midfield and establishing himself as a regular international there.

Tottenham's own favourite son Ledley King played plenty of football in midfield, such was his quality on the ball and athleticism, before returning to the back four in his all too short career.

With Dier's powerful physique, it will always be possible that he ends up switching back to central defence at some point in his career, but arguably he is currently on a run of good form better than he managed at fullback or centre back last season.

In midfield, he can dominate long balls and goal kicks that fall short of defence, while he also relishes a battle, as the likes of Yaya Toure found out in the second half on Saturday.

But with few options for England offering his versatility and capability, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Dier joining teammate Harry Kane in the full squad for the upcoming matches in October.

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