Toffees beat Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham to English defensive star

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Everton have signed 17 year-old central defender Eric Dier on a loan to run until July this year.

Dier was born in England and moved to Portugal when he was seven years old.

The teenager is a 6' 2" centre-half and has been a part of the Sporting Lisbon Academy since he was eight years old.

An Everton statement read: "Everton can confirm that Eric Dier has joined the club on loan from Sporting Lisbon until the end of the season.

"The 17-year old Academy signing will train at Finch Farm whilst he is in the UK."

Sporting's official website also confirmed the deal.

A statement on read: "Sporting and English outfit Everton have reached a deal that will see Eric Dier on Merseyside until the 30th of June 2011.

While the young central defender is already contracted to Sporting until 2013, this short loan spell in one of the world’s most competitive leagues will give the player vital experience at what is an important phase of his career."

Dier has previously been linked with moves to Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham but has opted to join Everton.

At this stage it is unclear whether Everton have an option to make the move permanent at the end of June.


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