Tottenham ace can secure holding midfield role for England at Euro 2016, says Spurs legend Mabbutt
- Credit: EMPICS Sport
Eric Dier can make England’s holding midfield role his own at this summer’s European Championship, believes former Spurs captain Gary Mabbutt.
Dier has been in inspired form for Mauricio Pochettino’s men this season, impressing in his role as a defensive midfielder.
The 22-year-old – who has been capped twice for England’s senior side – has been instrumental in Tottenham’s excellent season to date, with Pochettino’s men still firmly in the race for the title, sitting five points behind Leicester City with eight games to go as they seek to become champions for the first time in 55 years.
And Mabbutt, who was Tottenham’s club captain for 11 years between 1987 and 1998 – lifting the Uefa Cup in 1984 and the FA Cup in 1991 – maintains that Dier, who has made 44 appearances in all competitions this season, has more than enough about him to make that spot his own for his country this summer.
Mabbutt told Ham&High Sport: “He’s been a revelation. When he first came to Tottenham and played as a full-back and as a centre-half, I don’t think he settled in either of those positions.
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“Since he’s been put into the holding midfield role, he’s looked very assured, though, and has grown in confidence – he’s been exceptional.”
With Jack Wilshere still out injured, and the likes of James Milner and Jonjo Shelvey both having stints anchoring the midfield for England, but proven to be more effective played further up the field, the holding midfield role is still firmly up for grabs this summer.
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Mabbutt continued: “If I was Eric I’d be looking at it and thinking I’ve been in and around the England squad not because I can play in these different positions, but for the way I’ve played as a defensive midfielder.
“So I’m sure he’ll be making every effort to make that position his own, and he’s more than capable of doing so.
“He’s still learning the game and he’s still got a lot to improve on, but by watching other players who play in that position and taking on board positive things from their game, I think he can adapt and make that position his own – both for Tottenham and for England.
“I think he has got a great chance of doing that, I really do. But only if he’s not swapping between positions, otherwise I don’t think he will.
“I think he has every chance of being England’s first choice defensive midfielder, though, and being someone who starts every game in the European Championship. He’s a fantastic young talent.”