Nicely, he does exist, however sadly, he doesn’t function on this summer time’s Nations League squad.
After all, the person in query is Eric Dier (Transfermarkt), with Spurs followers left scratching our heads as to why but once more, he has missed out on a now overdue return to the nationwide staff.
Southgate’s England squad for subsequent month’s Nation’s League video games include six and a half centre backs (Sky Sports activities); Conor Coady, Marc Guehi, Harry Maguire, John Stones, Fikayo Tomori, and Ben White, in addition to Kyle Walker, who by commerce is a right-back, however has featured centrally for England up to now.
Of those seven, only Manchester City duo Stones and Walker stand out towards Dier for 2 causes; they’re the only different members of a top-four facet, and they’re the only two with extra England caps (11v11).
While I’m not suggesting that being a part of a top-four facet or being capped beforehand ought to assure a call-up, because it actually shouldn’t, it should rely for one thing.
Wanting on the six out-and-out centre backs, Stones, Tomori, and White are respectable decisions, having all loved positive seasons in their very own proper. A case may even be made for Maguire, as regardless of being poor at club degree, he appears to remodel into a reliable defender when representing his nation.
Nonetheless, Coady and Guehi are totally different tales, with Dier outshining each his counterparts final season.
With Tottenham, a now Champions League facet, Dier has been ever-present beneath each Nuno Espirito Santos and Antonio Conte, showing 35 occasions this season within the league alone and recording over 3’000 minutes.
Whereas he does have his shortcomings with odd lapses of judgement, his impression on the facet can’t be understated. The Englishman began in all 16 of Tottenham’s league clear sheets, while within the three video games he was absent, Spurs conceded a minimal of two objectives on every event.
Direct comparability between Dier, Coady and Guehi additionally leaves no query of who the superior defender is, as he betters the 2 in aerial duals gained and clearances made per 90, while placing up virtually an identical tackles, interceptions, and blocks as his fellow countrymen (FB Ref).
On the ball, Dier additionally comes out on prime, enjoying extra passes at a completion price of 88.5%, while being more proficient at shifting the ball himself, finishing 3.14 progressive carries. He additionally performs simply 0.04 fewer progressive passes than Guehi, and a large 1.55 greater than Coady.
The numbers don’t lie; of those three, Dier reigns supreme.
At 28, Dier is actually not over the hill, and in fact can be thought of in his prime by most. Having made his nationwide debut again in 2015, his 45 England caps present him with substantial international expertise, though hasn’t appeared for the Three Lions since 2020.
England, they actually aren’t blessed with a large berth of undroppable centre again expertise, and contemplating each Southgate and Conte utilise three-back formations, Dier would once more appear an apparent inclusion owed to his familiarity with the system.
While blooding the following crop of youngers is vital, primarily in White, Tomori and Guehi, it have to be remembered that there’s a trophy at stake, and a really actual likelihood for England to ship silverware for the primary time since 1966.
For Spurs followers, sadly, even after the great season loved by Dier, his omission from the nationwide staff got here as no actual shock, as he has been neglected repeatedly.
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