Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho has claimed in Football London that Eric Dier was having a ‘very strange’ time under Mauricio Pochettino’s stewardship.
Dier has been switched from a central midfield position into defence by Mourinho, with the Tottenham boss clearly feeling he offers more from a deeper position.
The England international has generally performed well at centre-back for Tottenham, and now seems to be an important part of Mourinho’s starting line-up.
And the Portuguese boss has suggested that his changes have all been made to benefit Tottenham next season.
“He had a strange last season and a very strange current season,” Mourinho said.
“We made a decision together. I told him immediately since my arrival, let’s go together in a certain direction but I think you’re not ready. So let’s go back to a certain level being a midfielder but with an eye to transforming you to centre-back, which is where he feels happy and more comfortable.
“During the period when we were just working on the Zoom and when the players came back to the training ground, even during the period of individual work we were totally focused on the direction of being a centre-back.
“We developed a number of skills to adapt him to the needs of that position. And we decided for the Manchester United first match we decided to go with him in that position, using this period to fight for points and objectives in relation to the table but also looking forward to next season.
“I think he played very good matches except against Sheffield (United). We all made a few mistakes but in the other matches defensively the team was consistent and he was very, very consistent playing against some of the best strikers.
“We look forward to next season when we have no doubts that he’s a centre-back and going to be an important player for us.”
Dier has actually just been slapped with a four game ban by the FA, so he won’t feature much for Tottenham again this term.
However, he appears to have already made himself Mourinho’s first choice selection in Tottenham’s current squad at centre-back.
Davinson Sanchez and Toby Alderweireld have both partnered Dier at the heart of Tottenham’s defence recently, with Jan Vertonghen being kept on the bench.
Spurs are next in action later tonight, when Mourinho will have to rethink his defensive plans, with Dier sidelined.