45-cap star transformed since Spurs fans 'called for him to leave'

Tottenham Hotspur defender Eric Dier has ‘won Spurs fans back over’ following a string of improved displays, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

Dier has been one of Spurs’ standout performers since the arrival of new manager Antonio Conte back in November, earning plenty of praise from impressed pundits.

What is the latest news involving Dier?

The 28-year-old has been a controversial character since arriving from boyhood club Sporting in 2014, initially impressing at centre-back and right-back before moving into the engine room.

At the base of the midfield, Dier became a regular feature in a Spurs side that recorded four consecutive top-four Premier League finishes while reaching the Champions League final in 2018/19.

However, towards the end of former boss Mauricio Pochettino’s reign, the 45-cap England international decided he wanted to make a permanent return to centre-back.

Under Pochettino’s successor Jose Mourinho, Dier got his wish, featuring solely in the heart of defence throughout 2020/21 as he made 39 appearances in all competitions.

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But Mourinho publicly criticised Dier following a string of high-profile errors, claiming he was suffering from a dip in confidence, something the player quickly denied.

Nevertheless, the versatile star was frequently dropped from the starting lineup during a tricky spell throughout February and March last year, leading to questions being asked over his long-term future.

What has O’Rourke said about Dier?

That drop-off in form feels like a long time ago now, though, as Dier has become a crucial cog under Conte, only missing a handful of games due to a thigh injury.

During the Italian tactician’s short tenure, Spurs have lost seven games, with Dier being absent for four of those, and O’Rourke believes his newfound importance to the team has already won over the club’s fanbase once again.

He told GiveMeSport: “He’s obviously comfortable on the ball being an ex-midfielder as well. He dropped into this defensive role, and he’s sort of going full circle now, Eric Dier.

“Lots of Spurs fans were calling for him to leave maybe 12, 18 months ago, but I think he’s won Spurs fans back over.”

How good has Dier been?

Ex-Spurs midfielder turned pundit Jermaine Jenas claimed Dier’s ‘stock has gone through the roof’ after the north London outfit suffered back-to-back defeats against Southampton and Wolves while the defender was sidelined.

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And his underlying numbers indicate why the 6 foot 2 ace is now back in favour.

As per WhoScored, Dier has won two aerial duels while making four clearances, 0.8 blocks, and 4.1 long balls per league game this season, placing him in the top five for each metric when compared to his teammates.

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