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Eric Dier should think carefully over Sporting Lisbon exit

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After turning down a new deal at Sporting Lisbon, Eric Dier has become one of the most sought after English talents in the game.

The 20-year-old defender has a year left on his current contract, but having refused to commit his long-term future to Sporting, he could be on the move this summer.

The Portuguese club know they could lose their defensive starlet on a free transfer next summer, and as such they're likely to accept a budget deal this year.

That has put a number of teams on alert, with Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal all said to be keen on signing the England under 21 international.

Next step

But who should Dier sign for if he really wants to progress from talented young defender to full England international?

The Sporting man, who emigrated to Portugal in 2004 with his mother, will certainly have plenty of offers should he make the move back to England this summer.

Manchester United 

Manchester United first registered an interest in Dier back in 2010, but should he finally make the move this summer there will be immediate pressure to succeed.

The club have this summer said goodbye to stalwarts Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, and any central defensive arrival would be required to help fill the void left by the departures of two of the Premier League's best ever centre backs.

Having only made 27 league appearances in two seasons, and with many of them coming in a defensive midfield role, it's implausible to expect Dier to step straight into the United first team.

Liverpool 

A move to United's rivals Liverpool wouldn't come with quite the same amount of expectation for a young player still yet to prove his worth at first team level.

On the back of a second-placed Premier League finish the Anfield club have plenty of defensive options, and though they rarely looked convincing at the back, it's hard to see an untested 20-year-old catapulted into the starting 11.

Should a move to Merseyside present itself, Dier need look no further than former teammate Tiago Ilori.

The 21-year-old came through the academy with Dier and made his Sporting debut in 2011.

After two seasons of occasional first team action Ilori signed for Brendan Rodgers' side in the summer of 2013 only to be loaned out to Spanish side Grananda by January having yet to make a single Liverpool appearance.

Should the same happen to Dier it's impossible to see how his career will benefit from playing understudy to the likes of Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure.

Tottenham

Likewise, Tottenham, under the management of Mauricio Pochettino, have plenty of central defenders for Dier to compete with.

Michael Dawson, Jan Vertonghen, Younes Kaboul and Vlad Chiriches will all expect to start ahead of Dier, and that will only stump his develop.

However, Pochettino has a reputation for developing young talent, and the way Luke Shaw, Callum Chambers and Sam Gallagher were all introduced to the Southampton first team would only give Dier hope.

But ultimately, given Tottenham's reputation for firing managers at will, Dier would perhaps be wise to move to a club that could offer him a stable management team while also putting faith in young talent.

Arsenal 

And that is exactly where Arsenal prove themselves to be the best option for the Cheltenham-born defender.

Though Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny have developed an outstanding partnership in recent seasons, there have been question marks over the future of club captain Thomas Vermaelen.

That could see the youngster immediately introduced as the third-choice centre back at the club, meaning there will be plenty of opportunity for first team football.

Furthermore, with Arsenal's host of young British talent it would be easy for Dier to settle in to his new surroundings.

In Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson the Arsenal team that was famed for being dominated by foreign talent suddenly seems a hot spot for British stars.

With Wenger's style of play and Dier's continental upbringing a move from the Portuguese capital to London could be the perfect move for a future England centre back.

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Arsenal
Liverpool
Manchester United
Football
Primeira Liga

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DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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