In any modern football team, you have to have players in your squad that can play multiple positions. This is not a utility player per se (someone who is a jack of all trades capable of filling anywhere). It`s more down to the player`s attributes, and having the skillset, and talent to play in a number of roles in a flexible tactical setup.
The more of these types of players you have at your disposal, the better you are able to adapt, either in time`s of an injury crisis or more commonly when the manager wants to change the system to give the team the best chance of winning.
Eric Dier has certainly been one of those players under Pochettino. Having joined the club the same year as our manager, the England international`s development has been great to see, but at the age of 24, there is still some debate over where his best position will be in the long term.
If we look at him as a purely physical specimen. At 6ft 2, he would be a prime candidate to play as a regular centre half, especially with his passing range that would suit our style well. Yet, for me personally, I have not always been convinced with his positional sense, and although I think he has time to improve in this area if he is afforded a longer run a centre half, I don`t think Poch is convinced by him in the position.
For sure, he can play in the backline, even as a full back, but the signings of Davinson Sanchez and Juan Foyth in the summer suggest the future beyond Toby and Jan is elsewhere. If we play in a back three more often than not than Eric could be a regular, but on this season`s evidence, the return to a back four looks here to stay.
So where does that leave our no.15? Essentially back as a holding midfielder. Just over half (52%) of his 176 matches for Tottenham have come in midfield, 36% at centre half and the other 12% on the right hand side.
He allows us to play with an extremely attacking central midfield while he protects the backline. Also, his defensive capabilities means he can slot in at the back when the centre back`s split in possession. I see his future in midfield. How about you? Let me know in the poll.