Gareth Southgate has left Eric Dier out of the England squad again, despite the turnaround he has made under Antonio Conte at Tottenham this season. The defender has had his fair share of criticism in recent years, but has seen a dramatic improvement since the arrival of the Italian, much like a number of the Spurs side.
Dier has now become a leader in the back three, creating a strong back line alongside Ben Davies and Cristian Romero, when the trio are all fit. This season, the 28-year-old has produced 141 clearances and made 131 recoveries, in his 35 Premier League appearances.
After Spurs’ 5-0 victory at Carrow Road, in their final fixture of the season, the defender praised Conte for the impact he has had on the Tottenham side so far. “He’s obviously been a huge part of it, everything points to that. It’s a bit awkward because he’s standing right next to me [Conte was doing radio in the Mixed Zone at the same time] but yeah, he knows what we think of him and how much we enjoy working with him, and we want that to continue next season, ” the 28-year-old admitted.
Dier has previously explained that he believes some of his criticism has been “unfair” and this season especially, he has proved a lot of those critics wrong. The defender has been praised by both Conte and Mauricio Pochettino, for his potential of becoming the “best”.
The 28-year-old’s success this season is why it will be a shock for many to learn that he has yet again not been included in Southgate’s England squad for the Nations League. England have six fixtures in the competition, running from the beginning of June, until the end of September.
The games come ahead of the World Cup at the end of the year. As expected, Harry Kane has been included in the squad, which never comes into doubt with the striker being the nation’s captain.
Ledley King backed Conte’s defender to be in the next England squad, in an exclusive interview with football.london just last week, on behalf of Bookmakers.com. “I think Eric’s been as good as any, in terms of his consistency this season,” the former Spurs skipper admitted.
“In terms of his communication and trying to help others, that’s something that really stood out. I’m sure he’s the vocal leader in the back of that Spurs defense and I think he’d be really unlucky to miss out on the next [England] squad. In my eyes he’s done enough, for sure. “
However, he has missed out, with the likes of Harry Maguire struggling season for Man United. Many fans will believe that Animal deserves another chance for England, with the defender already making 45 appearances for his country so far in his career, although he has not featured for England since 2020.
All the 28-year-old can now do is continue to work hard in the summer to give himself the strongest start to the season and hope he can be involved in the squad once again, when the World Cup comes around in the winter.
Here is the latest England squad:
Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Marc Guéhi (Crystal Palace), Reece James (Chelsea), James Justin (Leicester City), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City) , Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ben White (Arsenal)
Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Conor Gallagher (Crystal Palace, loan from Chelsea), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United), Declan Rice (West Ham United), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
Forwards: Tammy Abraham (AS Roma), Jarrod Bowen (West Ham United), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)