Every time an international break rolls around, the Eric Dier debate begins in earnest.
For all those who believe Dier’s versatility and tactical intelligence make him an important asset to Gareth Southgate’s England side, there are those who believe there are far better options than the Tottenham Hotspur man.
And, at the age of 24, there is certainly an argument to be made that Dier has not developed as expected. He looked the real deal at the base of midfield in a hugely impressive breakthrough season under Mauricio Pochettino in 2014/15, but has the one-time Everton loanee really kicked on sufficiently since?
Speaking on the Jim White show on talkSPORT (12 October, 11am), former Arsenal attacker Perry Groves has admitted that he is less than convinced about Dier ahead of England’s UEFA Nations League clash against Croatia on Friday.
“Eric Dier is my concern,” Groves said.
“When you’re combating that tremendous three (Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mateo Kovacic) you need to be comfortable in possession, not give the ball away.
"And when you do give the ball away you’ve got to be mobile and I don’t think Dier is good enough to play in a midfield three.”
Groves admits that Dier can ‘do a job’ for England due to his ability to play in midfield, centre-back or even on the right of defence.
But has the former Sporting Lisbon player reached the point in his career when he needs to clamp down a regular position?
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