Eric Dier has revealed he grew up idolising three Manchester United legends — Roy Keane, Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.
The Tottenham defender was brought up in Portugal, but managed to watch plenty of Premier League football during Manchester United’s most dominant era.
It’s easy to see flashes of Roy Keane in Dier’s game, especially in Spurs’ 2-2 draw at Stamford last season when the 23-year-old didn’t respond well to some of Chelsea’s wind-up tactics.
In a piece for Yahoo! Sport, Dier spoke extensively about the players he took influence from as a youngster: “Of course, my brothers and I were still obsessed with watching the Premier League on TV — we watched a lot more English than Portuguese football.
“I was a big fan of Roy Keane when I was younger, and then it was Nemanja Vidic (one of the reasons I like the number 15 is Vidic) and his defensive partner, Rio Ferdinand.
“But I liked different kinds of players as well. Vidic was a bit of a warrior, yet at the same time I loved to watch Gerard Pique and Rafael Marquez, who played in both defence and midfield at Barcelona.”
It’s worth reading the full piece, in which Dier goes into detail about some of his early football memories and his England career to date.