Phil Thompson has told Sky Sports Soccer Saturday, which was broadcast on February 20th, that he is surprised that Eric Dier’s and Mousa Dembele’s partnership in the heart of Tottenham Hotspur’s midfield has been so effective.
Mauricio Pochettino has shown great foresight this season, and it is rather surprising to see both Dier and Dembele thriving in the defensive midfield slots in Tottenham’s starting line-up.
Dier was brought to Spurs as a defender, but he has looked brilliant since being moved slightly further forward.
Dembele, on the other hand, was generally recognised as an attacking influence, but since being dropped into a deeper role he has looked formidable.
The Belgian international has been able to dictate play, with his creativity coming to the fore in his current position.
And Thompson said: “When you see him play alongside Eric Dier, you think how’s that working? Everybody wants somebody to put their foot in in there. But you have your holding midfield player in there, in Dier, and then Dembele.
“Yet, he’s so quick on his feet that he gets away with it. He’s in there, and they just play off each other. It works all the time - it’s terrific.”
Dembele and Dier’s partnership is about to be broken up, as the former Fulham midfielder is set to miss the next few weeks with injury.
The 28-year-old is confirmed to be out of Spurs’ second-leg tie against Fiorentina in the Europa League tomorrow evening (Guardian), and he could also be unavailable for Pochettino’s side’s match against Swansea City at the weekend.