Paul Merson believes Tottenham star Eric Dier should not try to be Wilshere

England's Eric Dier during a press conference

Paul Merson says Tottenham's Eric Dier should leave the creativity to Arsenal's Jack Wilshere.

England's Eric Dier during a press conferenceEngland's Eric Dier during a press conference

Former Premier League star Paul Merson has told The Daily Star that England midfielder Eric Dier should leave the creativity to Jack Wilshere if they play together.

Merson was not impressed with Dier's performance against Portugal, arguing that he tried to influence the game offensively, and should play to his strengths instead.

England's Eric Dier in action with Portugal's Rafa SilvaEngland's Eric Dier in action with Portugal's Rafa Silva

The pundit said he would like to see Dier and Wilshere playing together, so long as it is the Arsenal man who is at the hub of the attack.

Merson said: "Eric Dier is a good holding midfielder but he doesn’t have Wilshere’s vision. Dier was trying to spray passes around against Portugal and they were going all over the place.

"I would play Dier and Wilshere together. You need someone who can keep the ball and find the right pass. That’s what Jack does."

The problem with Merson's assessment is that Eric Dier showed against Portugal that he can retain possession.

England's Jack Wilshere in action with Portugal's William CarvalhoEngland's Jack Wilshere in action with Portugal's William Carvalho

Dier completed 90.6 per cent of his passes in the 1-0 win, in which he played 90 minutes.

This was the highest rate of any England player apart from left-back Danny Rose (96 per cent) while Jack Wilshere, a 65th minute substitute, could only complete 76.5 per cent of his passes.

This indicates that while Dier may have tried to attack, it was not to the detriment of the team, and he was not giving the ball away unnecessarily.

England's Eric Dier and Nathaniel Clyne during trainingEngland's Eric Dier and Nathaniel Clyne during training

Dier did not create a single goalscoring opportunity, while Wilshere did manage to do so during his 25 minutes on the pitch, with one key pass.

The pair could be an impressive combination together but England boss Roy Hodgson has alternatives, with Liverpool duo Jordan Henderson and James Milner also vying for places.

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