Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier says he can still improve as a player despite already cementing his place in Mauricio Pochettino’s preferred starting line-up.
Dier arrived at Spurs from Sporting Lisbon in the summer of 2014 and scored the first goal of Pochettino’s reign – a last minute winner against West Ham United at Upton Park.
After mostly switching between centre-back and right-back during his first season in England, Dier was pushed forward into a central midfield role in his second year, where he flourished.
There has been plenty of debate over the 24-year-old’s best position – he has also played on the right and in the middle of a back three over the last two campaigns.
But Pochettino seems to trust him most in midfield, where he has formed an almost undroppable partnership with Mousa Dembele.
Speaking exclusively to the club’s official website, Dier says there is still room for him to develop into a better player.
“I feel in my first season when I was younger and had just come in from Portugal that I struggled at times keeping up with the Premier League,” said Dier.
“I was in and out of the team but I learned a lot that season and adapted. I had to make changes and did in many areas to keep a consistent level throughout the demands of a whole season.
“I feel like I’ve grown with this team from when I arrived and lots of players probably feel the same way as we’ve all grown together at the same time and all gone through the same stages with the team.
“The attitude you need to have is to constantly want to improve and work hard to improve in every aspect you can. There are so many aspects to football and you can improve in all of them.
“I believe this season, last season and the season before that my improvement has been good but at times it could be better. I can still improve a lot more and I want to improve a lot more. I feel I can still reach a much higher standard.”
Dier has kept Victor Wanyama out of the team since the Kenyan returned from injury, illustrating the trust Pochettino has in the England international.
With him still being young, Dier could yet revert to a preference for playing at centre-back in the years to come. For now, his versatility is what makes him so valuable to Tottenham.