Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has been told by talkSPORT pundit Tony Cascarino to “hold back” after the Italian’s message to Eric Dier.
The facts: This is outstanding…
The former Sporting Lisbon star shone as a member of Conte’s back three at Spurs, prompting England boss Gareth Southgate to recall him to the national team squad.
Dier will travel with the Three Lions to the forthcoming UEFA Nations League games against Italy and Germany, with media even saying his admission will follow ‘long overdue’.
The 28-year-old is one of just three Spurs players to have played every minute in the Premier League so far this season, with Dier delivering another brilliant performance against Leicester City yesterday.
The latest: Cascarino criticizes Conte after Dier’s report…
While Cascarino said Dier had been brilliant over the past two months, the talkSPORT pundit has acted quickly to refute Conte’s latest news about the player.
The Spurs head coach drew comparisons to Italian football legend Leonardo Bonucci, claiming the Englishman could ‘mimic’ the Juventus captain.
According to Conte, Cascarino has told the ex-Inter Milan coach to ‘hold back’, saying:
“He’s had a decent start to the season, but comparing him to Bonucci is a bit too long for me at the moment, I’d hold back.
“I didn’t think he was as versatile as Bonucci, maybe he was more of a failed midfielder than a midfielder, he didn’t uproot trees.
“I don’t think he’s bad, I think I’m still cautious about Dier over the course of a season.”
The verdict: too early?
Dier has been fantastic for Spurs this season and deserves praise from both Conte and the media. That being said, the season is long and before we measure the Englishman’s overall contribution we need to judge him over an entire season.
However, the 28-year-old shone as part of Conte’s back three in 2021/22, scoring more clearances per 90 than any Spurs player while having the second-most blocks (WhoScored) during that period.
In terms of the Bonucci resemblance, it’s not out of the question that Dier could replicate the 35-year-old’s leadership qualities in the Lilywhites dressing room – especially given his experience of 328 games for the club and 45 caps for England.