Eric Dier has admitted it is strange to be apart from his Tottenham teammates after spending so much time with them over the last few years.
The midfielder, who was mostly being used a centre-back in the stretch of games before lockdown, joined Spurs in the summer of 2014 as one of Mauricio Pochettino’s first signings.
He has seen plenty of players come and go, but there are some people Dier has played with for several years. The 26-year-old has struck up an especially close friendship with Dele Alli.
But when speaking about being separated from the rest of the squad in recent weeks, it was Jan Vertonghen who Dier named as someone he is missing
“This has been a very strange experience. Normally our relationship with each other, the club, the staff, is very intense,” Dier told the club’s official website.
“We see each other every day, compete against each other every day and experience all the highs and lows with each other. So, not to see each other in these circumstances has been a unique experience.
“Since a very young age, we’ve all been used to being able to play football and to be with those people. Now, suddenly, I’ve gone six, seven weeks without seeing Jan Vertonghen! That’s starting to take its toll!
“From all the lads I’ve spoken to, everyone is okay, everyone has handled the situation well but we’re all just desperate to get back to playing football now.”
With Dier dropping back into defence of late, there is a chance we could see the England international partner Jan Vertonghen at centre-back if and when the Premier League returns next month.
That said, it’s probably unlikely. Toby Alderweireld is bound to retain his place in the heart of the defence. And if a recent ESPN report is anything to go by, Vertonghen may be on his way out when his contract expires at the end of June.