Tottenham star Eric Dier has opened up on the chronic illness that kept him out the team for large spells of last season, revealing the struggle he went through to get himself back to match fitness.
Dier underwent emergency surgery last December after falling ill with appendicitis. His recovery was disrupted by a reaction to the medicine he was given and the 25-year-old ended up missing the majority of the second half of the 2018/19 campaign.
Speaking after playing a starring role in Spurs’ 4-0 win at Red Star in the Champions League on Wednesday, Dier explained just how unwell he had been.
“It was quite serious,” he said (via Sky Sports). “At the time, there were a few players at the club with a stomach ache so we just presumed that it was that – which is no fault of the medical staff, at all. They treated me fantastically.
“I was at home and I had to be rushed to hospital and thankfully I had the procedure straight away.
“I was very fortunate like that and it was just very difficult afterwards. I kept on getting ill afterwards.
“My immune system just really struggled with the medicine after the appendix and I kept on getting ill.
“People said I was injured but I was never injured, I just kept on falling ill because of it afterwards which was very frustrating.
“It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t a normal thing for anyone. It was a very strange experience but something that hopefully I will be better for.
“It’s gone. I don’t really think about it too much any more. I’m just looking forward.”
During his absence last season, Dier watched on as Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko emerged as Mauricio Pochettino’s first-choice central midfielders. On top of that, Tottenham signed Tanguy Ndombele this summer to make Dier’s task of regaining his place in the team even more difficult.
Wednesday night saw him return to his original role as a centre-back, and he looked more than comfortable as Spurs secured a welcome victory in Belgrade. Perhaps it’s time for Dier to permanently return to the back line.
In any case, his comments prove that those who criticised his drop-off in form were perhaps too harsh.