Tony Adams seems to have had it in for Arsene Wenger recently. There former Gunners defender has had a new book to promote and has been laying into his old manager at every opportunity to generate interest the latest instalment of his life story.
For the most part, it’s come across as being rather bitter, given Adams’ assertions that he isn’t likely to get a coaching role at the club while Wenger is in charge, but his latest claim actually comes across as being sound advice.
Back in 2012 Adams was doing some coaching work with the England under-19 side, and he claims that there was one player who stood out as being a big talent.
In fact, he thought that this young player was “head and shoulders” above the rest of the group, and he has since proved his class in the Premier League.
And who was that young player? It was none other than Tottenham’s Eric Dier.
Adams says that he tries to inform Arsenal to sign the then teenage midfielder for the meagre sum of just £5million, but insists his advice fell on deaf ears as they instead spent £17million on Southampton’s Calum Chambers.
“I recommended Eric Dier to Arsenal,” he told The Times.
“I did the England Under-19s with Blakey [Noel Blake] in 2012, and phoned [Arsenal scout] Steve Rowley and said, ‘Dier’s head and shoulders above any English player in this camp.
“‘Do it now. £5million.’
“I knew the get-out clause at Sporting. Steve said that Arsenal’s Portuguese scout said he was a bit one-paced. So Arsenal didn’t.
“They did get Calum Chambers for £17m — no disrespect to Calum.
“Spurs got Dier, pushed him into midfield, maybe he hasn’t got the aggression, but in the modern game now, you don’t need to be aggressive so he’ll probably end up the perfect central defender.”
On the face of it, it looks like a raw deal. Since joining the Gunners Chambers has made just 59 appearances across all competitions and even spent last season on loan with Middlesbrough.
However, he is still only 22, and has plenty of time to fulfil the potential he showed that convinced Wenger to splash the cash on him.