Eric Dier will miss the England U21 friendlies over the international break after asking Young Lions manager Gareth Southgate if he could stay at Tottenham to work on his game.
The 20-year-old summer signing from Sporting Lisbon enjoyed a dazzling start to his Spurs career, scoring the only goal in the opening day win at West Ham as Mauricio Pochettino saw his ten men overcome the Hammers in his first competitive game in charge.
Dier then opened the scoring game in the subsequent game against QPR as Spurs won 4-0.
However, after that impressive start Dier's game has slipped in recent weeks as he grows accustomed to England and the Premier League.
Despite representing the Three Lions and being born in Cheltenham, Dier moved to Portugal with his family when he was ten. It is easy to forget that his home nation is a foreign land to him.
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Playing at right back despite being a centre back has not helped, and lapses in concentration such as the one right after half time that let Newcastle equalise as Spurs lost 2-1 to the Geordies.
As player and team have struggled, Dier has decided he needs to work more on his game rather than play the U21 friendlies.
"I spoke to Gareth Southgate and we were in complete agreement that it was the right thing to do," Dier told the club's official site. "We had an open conversation and I think he was happy that I could be so honest with him.
"If he wasn't completely fine with this then I would never have asked because I would never want to put him in a difficult position. He has been fantastic with the whole situation and is really easy to talk to.
"I certainly would never want to give him or anyone else the wrong impression. It's not a case that I don't want to play for England, that couldn't be further from the truth."
He added: "It has been a hectic start to the season for me and I have been delighted with the number of games I've played so far.
"Obviously, I have just moved clubs and even though I represent England I have not lived here since I was really young so I am still adapting to my new environment.
"I just felt that this two-week period gives me the opportunity to work on parts of my game that I have had problems with over the past two months, personal elements I need to work on both physically and on the football pitch that I think will make me a better player for both club and country in the long-term.
"It is far from a rest. This is a period where I can spend time at my new club and put a lot of work in to improve because during the season these opportunities do not come around too often for Spurs or England because of the number of games we have to prepare for."
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