Mauricio Pochettino has already given Tottenham Hotspur’s Eric Dier reason to panic over how much game time he is going to get this season.
Dier went from a key player at Tottenham to a substitute last season, which owed partly to injury and illness.
Dier may have hoped that his fortunes would change this term, but the England international could already have reason to worry at Tottenham.
It is hard to see exactly where Dier now fits into Pochettino’s team, and youngster Oliver Skipp may now be ahead of him in the pecking order.
Pochettino turned to Skipp as Tottenham looked to see out a 2-2 draw against City.
While it would be foolish to draw a definitive conclusion about the midfield pecking order at White Hart Lane from one game, Dier must have some concerns.
Skipp was given a handful of appearances for Tottenham last term and is very highly regarded, but for Pochettino to turn to him over the England international in such a pressurised moment, can’t be seen as a good omen for the former Sporting Lisbon man.
Dier could, of course, also be used at centre-back at Tottenham but Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez are ahead of him there.
There has also been suggestions that Dier could play at right-back, as that is where Tottenham initially utilised him when he broke through.
But with Pochettino having Kyle Walker-Peters available and Juan Foyth returning from injury, Dier’s first-team chances there look limited too.
And Dier, who was once valued at £50 million (Guardian), may have genuine reason to worry that there simply is no obvious route into Tottenham’s team for him now.
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