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.

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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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