Paul Merson has an opinion about Eric Dier

White Hart Lane

The England midfielder began his Spurs career in defence.

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has slated Roy Hodgson's provisional England squad for Euro 2016, playing down the theory that the inclusion of Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Eric Dier should compensate for a perceived lack of defenders.

The 22-year-old was one of Spurs' most impressive players in a season which saw them mount a serious Premier League title challenge.

Dier started his Tottenham career in central defence following a move from Sporting Lisbon in 2014, but Mauricio Pochettino's decision to use him in defensive midfield looked an inspired one.

Hodgson raised eyebrows by only naming three recognised and established centre-backs in his 26-man squad - Gary Cahill, John Stones and Chris Smalling - and there has been suggestions that Dier could also operate there if necessary.

But Merson refuses to buy into that theory, firmly saying that he should not be considered a defender.

"People go, 'oh Dier can play centre-half' - he can't play centre-half. He would play for Tottenham at centre-half if he could play centre-half," he told Sky Sports Fantasy Football Club podcast.

Merson, in his defence, may have a point.

Dier may or may not be a talented centre-back, but the fact of the matter is he has barely figured there over the past 12 months and England might well encounter problems if they are forced to play him in central defence at Euro 2016.

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