Mauricio Pochettino: 'Trusting Eric Dier in midfield was a gamble'

Pochettino: 'Trusting Dier was a gamble'
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Mauricio Pochettino is delighted to have a player of Eric Dier's quality in his Tottenham Hotspur ranks after using him seven times already this season.

Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has confessed that he "took a big risk" in not signing a new central-midfield player in 2015 as he put all his trust in Eric Dier to thrive in the position.

The 23-year-old joined Spurs from Sporting Lisbon with a reputation of being able to play in a number of roles, including both in defence and midfield.

Dier was used solely as a defender in his first campaign at White Hart Lane, but he was moved forward the following year to compensate for the departures of Paulinho and Etienne Capoue.

"We took a big risk not signing another midfielder and it was fantastic," Pochettino told reporters. "He deserved all the praise and our decision [paid off] to be brave and give him the possibility to play in a club like Tottenham when you fight for big things."

Asked about Dier's utility-man status, which saw him play 48 times for Spurs and a further eight times for England in 2016-17, Pochettino added: "If he in time shows he is great or one of the best in the world in one position, OK, that is fantastic for him.

"But if you are a very good player and can play very well in different positions, there are more possibilities for him to play. I think the most important thing last season was that he was the player in the squad that played the most. When you are a player, you want to play and be in the starting XI.

"He can dominate different positions on the pitch and that is so fantastic - he can be top as a midfielder, centre-back or full-back. Then it is up to the manager to use him in different positions."

Dier has featured seven times for Tottenham already this season, including a 10-minute cameo from the bench against Barnsley in the EFL Cup on Tuesday night.

Eric Dier and his new haircut in action during the Premier League game between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea on August 20, 2017
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