Versatile Eric Dier content playing with Spurs, insists Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino insists Eric Dier has never told him he is unhappy with his role at Tottenham.

Dier has been used in a variety of positions by Pochettino, who played the 22-year-old at full-back when he first took charge, only to subsequently use him in midfield and central defence.

Toby Alderweireld’s return to fitness and Victor Wanyama’s impressive form anchoring Tottenham’s midfield means Dier’s place in the team has come under threat.

Bayern Munich are one club reportedly monitoring the situation, having sent scouts to watch Dier last season, but Pochettino believes his player is content at White Hart Lane.

“I never hear from him that he wasn’t happy,” Pochettino said.

“When he was playing like a midfielder, centre-back, full-back, he has never come to say to me: ‘I’m not happy to play in that position’. We are talking about rumours so it’s too difficult to say things.”

Dier was moved into central midfield last season and was a revelation there, helping Tottenham launch a surprise title challenge and earning a starting spot for England at Euro 2016.

Wanyama’s arrival, however, and Alderweireld’s eight-week absence with a knee injury has seen Dier used predominantly in defence this term.

He has started 12 out of Spurs’ 16 Premier League games but was left on the bench for the defeat to Manchester United last Sunday.

“Eric Dier, for me, he’s 22 years old, he’s a player that arrived as a 19-year-old and after two years and a half, he has played more than 40 games every season,” Pochettino said.

“We’ll see in future which position can give his best football but for me he’s a player that can play as a centre-back, a midfielder, sometimes like a full-back. The most important thing for the young players is to be in the starting XI and play and try to improve.”

Tottenham host Burnley tomorrow looking to build on Wednesday’s 3-0 victory over Hull and reduce the 10-point gap between them and league leaders Chelsea.

Mousa Dembele is still struggling with a foot injury and will be assessed today but Erik Lamela and Vincent Janssen remain out.

Meanwhile Burnley boss Sean Dyche is confident his side can continue to confound the critics over the second half of the season to maintain their place in the Premier League.

“I think we have exceeded everyone else’s expectations, but not so much our fans and certainly not myself, those of my staff and my team,” said Dyche.

“I think from the outside looking in it is well documented that nobody fancied us to have a chance of being in this division, then to continue there.

“Overall, I think we are giving a good account of ourselves, and the stats suggest the away results will come towards you, but we have to make them come towards us because it’s improbable that you won’t win away.

“You usually find a way of winning at some point, but we have to make sure, rather than just waiting for that to occur.”

Here's a little extra sport. Watch the latest BallTalk for the best sports chat and analysis: Chelsea on fire, Liverpool stuttering, Manchester City in disarray. The Premier League mid-term report


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