The latest transfer saga set to befall Tottenham might revolve around Manchester United’s interest in jack-of-all-trades defender Eric Dier.
The Sun reported Friday that Jose Mourinho appears to have taken a liking to the 23-year-old Tottenham regular. United are said to be preparing a £35 million bid for the England international.
This rumor comes fresh on the heels that United are also interested in Spurs’ striker Harry Kane, who they are preparing a frankly ludicrous £80 million bid for this summer.
Set aside, for the moment, that somehow United continue to strut around with the brazenness of regular Premier League title winners. Their arrogance is a well established routine at this point, even if their results fail to provide them justification for such an attitude.
That United would successfully swoop for two of Tottenham’s regular starting XI is frankly absurd. This is not the same Spurs side that let Michael Carrick go in 2006, or Dimitar Berbatov in 2008.
Thanks to Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham are now no longer a selling club. They are instead in contention for the same players as United — and competing for the same spots in the table as them as well.
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It therefore makes little sense that Spurs would sell their most important players to a direct rival, regardless of the money involved. Financing the new stadium means little if the Tottenham team that takes to the pitch in 2018 are significantly weaker than the one that leaves White Hart Lane.
There are caveats of course — especially if we play a little devil’s advocate.
If we can immediately dismiss the rumors surrounding Kane, it is not quite so easy with Dier. This time last year the thought of losing Dier was almost on the same level as losing Kane. Times have changed however.
The arrival of Victor Wanyama this past summer didn’t seem to immediately threaten Dier’s place in the starting XI. Quickly, though, it became evident that a proper defensive midfielder fit better within Pochettino’s tactics than a converted centre-back like Dier. He has since featured more in defense than midfield.
He still retains value as a centre-back, especially as the club adapt to a three-at-the-back tactical scheme. As the right-sided centre-back, Dier is a natural fit. It blends his experience at centre-back, full-back and defensive midfielder well.
It would be a stretch to say that Dier is indispensable in that role however. If they were forced to, Spurs could find a replacement — perhaps even an improvement — for less than United’s rumored bid of £35 million.
That — rightfully — reads like sacrilege though. Dier is a fundamental part of the feel-good side Pochettino melded together over the last three seasons. At 23-years-old, he still has time to grow into a defender of commensurate skill as Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld.
There’s little chance that Pochettino and Levy roll the dice on a new player while also gifting a competitor a talented, multi-faceted player like Dier.