Joey Barton says Eric Dier is a long-term centre-half

Audi Cup 2015

Joey Barton believes Eric Dier will spend his career as a defender.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Joey Barton has given his thoughts on Tottenham star Eric Dier, admitting that he sees the youngster as a centre-half in the future - not a defensive midfielder.

When discussing his England team for Euro 2016, Barton said: “Do you play Dier at centre-half? I think that is his long-term position, as much as he can do a job as a holding midfielder.”

Dier arrived at Spurs last summer, and spent last season alternating between central defence and right-back, showing an aptitude in both roles.

However, this season has seen Mauricio Pochettino push Dier further forward, out of necessity to begin with, and he has excelled as a holding midfielder.

He has made his senior England debut in this new position, and has established himself as one of the best holding players in the Premier League, with many now calling it his natural role.

However, Barton believes that this is just a temporary role, and the former England international expects to see Dier return to being a centre-half as his long-term position - for both Spurs and England.

This is a surprising statement, given that Dier has looked a better holding player than he ever looked as a defender, but this change of position could benefit him as a centre-back in the future due to the development needed to impress there.

Regardless of his future position, Spurs and England have a truly top class player they can call upon in Dier, and he is sure to have a bright and successful future in both shirts.

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