Tottenham star makes defiant statement on Mauricio Pochettino's youth policy

Eric Dier says the Spurs boss only gives opportunities to up-and-coming players who deserve it, and does not blood young talent for the sake of it.

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Eric Dier has said that Mauricio Pochettino only hands first-team opportunities to those young players who deserve it, as quoted by the London Evening Standard.

The Argentine manager has developed something of a reputation for bringing young talent through both at Spurs and former club Southampton, overseeing the development of numerous stars of the future during his time in England.

Pochettino nurtured the growth of players such as Luke Shaw and James Ward-Prowse at St. Mary's, and under his rule at White Hart Lane players such as Dier, Dele Alli, and Ryan Mason have all become vitally-important first-team stars.

The 44-year-old's faith and coaching also helped Harry Kane develop from a raw talent into a one of the deadliest strikers in European football, and Kane, Dier, and Alli have all become regular England internationals under the manager's watchful eye.

However, Dier, who was one of Pochettino's first signings as Spurs manager, has made it clear that the Argentine does not give those sorts of senior opportunities to just anyone, stressing that each player has to earn his call-up.

The 22-year-old said, as quoted by the Standard: "You’ve got to deserve it. Everyone gets a bit excited with the whole youth thing, but I think at our club the manager won’t just play any youngster."

Speaking of himself and the four Spurs teammates who were named in Roy Hodgson's England squad for the friendlies against Germany and the Netherlands, Dier insisted that they deserved the international call after being given the chance to prove themselves consistently at club level.

He added: "Us guys have been playing well for our clubs so I think we deserved to get a chance here."

Dier certainly grabbed his chance with both hands after being handed a start in central midfield against the world champions, putting in a solid performance before meeting an injury-time corner at the near post to head home his first international goal and complete England's turnaround in a 3-2 win.

The young star, who has been converted from a centre-back to a central midfielder by Pochettino, has been a regular for Spurs since his arrival two years ago and is enjoying a fine season, having netted four goals in 44 appearances in all competitions.

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