Fulham are believed to be keen on a move for Tottenham defender Eric Dier. The England international looks to have fallen out of favour under Ange Postecoglou in North London, raising the possibility of a move across the capital. Here’s a look at why Fulham should sign Eric Dier.
The 29 year old is nearing the end of a Spurs contract which expires next summer and would add plenty to a Fulham squad that has just been rocked by the major departure of striker Aleksandar Mitrovic. Marco Silva’s side will get a good fee for the Saudi-bound Serbia man and they may look to reinvest that money across the team with holes that need filling at both ends of the pitch.
Why Fulham should sign Eric Dier
A quick fix for a leaky defence
FULL-TIME Fulham 0-3 Brentford
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 19, 2023
Fulham’s opening two Premier League games, in addition to seven goals conceded in the Premier League summer series in the USA, have highlighted the reality that the defence is currently a weakness for Marco Silva’s team. Unless they take action over the final days of the transfer market, there’s a real risk that Fulham could end up getting sucked towards a relegation struggle this term having comfortably finished in mid-table last season.
While it’s true that their Premier League campaign did start with a clean sheet and a road win against Everton, the 1-0 success masked some significant flaws in that performance. Everton missed a host of clear chances and could have been several goals ahead by the break with Fulham keeper Bernd Leno required to make 9 saves across the course of the 90 minutes.
Brentford were not so wasteful in their next match. A brace from Bryan Mbeumo sealed a 3-0 West London derby win for the Bees at Craven Cottage with Tim Ream’s red card adding to Fulham’s problems in central defence. The US international will now be suspended for the daunting weekend trip to Arsenal, adding to the need for a new central defender, although it’s doubtful any potential deal for Dier would be completed by the weekend.
Fulham have given up more xG than any other Premier League side so far this season, further highlighting their problems in defence and if Arsenal are at their best, this weekend’s match has the potential to turn quite ugly for the visitors.
Eric Dier is training and despite not featuring in Spurs’ opening two Premier League games, did get 90 minutes in the club’s recent friendly against Barcelona. He’d be as good an option as Fulham could realistically expect to find for a central defender who could move to the club and immediately slot into the heart of what currently looks to be a leaky defence.
Experienced Premier League defender
While he’s a player that has at times been the subject of fierce criticism from the Tottenham fanbase, Eric Dier is now a very experienced defender having appeared 270 times in the Premier League across a nine year stay in North London.
He’s also just one cap shy of 50 appearances for England, although it’s true that he’s only appeared four times for Gareth Southgate’s side since 2020. With Spurs not in Europe and Dier seemingly out of favour, a move to a team where he’d start regularly may be the only way the 29 year old could make a serious claim to be part of England’s Euro 2024 squad.
Fulham have started the season with Ream and Issa Diop in central defence. New signing Calvin Bassey is also an option though after his move from Ajax with the 23 year old the club’s biggest summer addition to date. He could potentially be paired with Dier should the Spurs man make the transfer to Fulham and Dier’s experience would certainly be very useful in complimenting the youthful Bassey who made his Premier League debut off the bench in the defeat to Brentford.
Eric Dier is also a versatile player who could come in and do a job in a number of positions. While he’d most likely go into the Fulham team in central defence, Dier could also operate as a holding midfielder or a right back if required.
That versatility would certainly be an asset for Marco Silva, particularly in the opening months of the season as he attempts to figure out his best eleven once all of the summer transfer business is complete. It’s likely that the eleven that started against Brentford may change quite considerably over the coming weeks.
Silva could potentially conclude that Dier’s physical presence would be a major asset in the middle of the park, particularly if holding midfielder Joao Palhinha departs. The 28 year old has been linked with Liverpool and any move for the Portuguese international would leave Fulham with another hole in their team with Dier certainly capable of slotting into the role if required.