Bayer Leverkusen's Javier Hernandez in action with Tottenham's Eric Dier
Tottenham Hotspur's Champions League draw away to Bayer Leverkusen was arguably the first big match Toby Alderweireld has missed since arriving in the summer of 2015. The Belgian has been outstanding so far this season, following a superb debut campaign, so it is no surprise that supporters had some concern at Eric Dier, who has played in midfield for most of the last 14 months, replacing him ahead of the fixture.
The good news is that Alderweireld's injury isn't as bad as was first thought, and the former Southampton defender will be back possibly as soon as the weekend after the Bournemouth game.
Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld is stretchered off after sustaining a injury
But it looks to have at least given Dier the chance to get more football under his belt, after seeing Victor Wanyama claim his more defensive midfield position following a small injury.
And it gave the 22-year-old the chance to remind fans of his ability as a centre back, having made a name for himself in a more advanced position over the last 12 months - or at least that is what he would have hoped.
Though it wasn't an easy night for him, Spurs and Dier will be happy to have secured a clean sheet even if they couldn't secure the three points.
Below are his stats for the game, alongside Tottenham's other defensive players:
Defensive statistics from Bayer Leverkusen 0-0 Tottenham
|Possession Won Defensive 3rd||Won Tackle||Aerial Duel Won||Ground Duel Won||Aerial Duel Lost||Ground Duel Lost||Effective Clearance||Accurate Pass|
The above information makes pretty damning viewing of Dier's performance as a member of the side's back four. Including anchorman Wanyama, Jan Vertonghen, Kieran Trippier and Danny Rose all outperformed the former Sporting player in a number of crucial defensive areas.
Amazingly, Dier failed to win any tackles, any aerial duels or any ground duels, indicating that statistically, he was very much the weak link in Tottenham's back line.
Dier also posted lower stats than his fellow defender when it came to winning back possession or clearing the ball.
England's Eric Dier during training
On more than one occasion Dier was given stern advice as to how he should, or shouldn't have dealt in a certain scenario. Both Hugo Lloris and Vertonghen, the two elder statesmen in this Spurs team, gave the England man a bit of an earful after a poor decision.
It wasn't all doom and gloom though. Intriguingly, and perhaps an indication that Dier would be much happier in midfield, he made more accurate passes than the other defenders - a couple of which were excellent cross field balls to the wing.
Dier may get another chance in defence against the Cherries this weekend, and with Wanyama having another excellent game in midfield, the young Three Lions star would do well to make a better impression than he did in Leverkusen.