Agbonlahor claims frail Spurs man is easy to get at; needs axing by Mourinho

Jonny Whitfield
Eric Dier, Ben Davies Tottenham v Everton July 2020

Pundit Gabriel Agbonlahor says that he has “never really rated” Eric Dier as a centre-back and called on him to spend a period of time out of Tottenham’s team.

Dier, who made his name as a midfielder, stepped into defence for the first time in last season’s 3-2 loss to Wolves.

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho (via Goal) hailed the England international’s performance that day last March.

But while he has had further strong moments alongside the likes of Davinson Sanchez and Toby Alderweireld, he has also faced criticism this season.

Indeed, his error played its part in the 1-0 defeat to Chelsea last month. What’s more, Mourinho said earlier this season that the 27-year-old had suffered from a “crisis of confidence”.

Dier himself rejected those claims, but according to Agbonlahor, the Englishman still does not have the capabilities in defence.

Asked by Football Insider if he should take time out of the lineup, he said: “I actually do, to be honest.

“I’ve never really rated Eric Dier as a centre-half. I look at him and he’s the perfect centre-half I would have loved to have played against. You can get in the channels, get in behind him – he hasn’t got the pace.

Jose Mourinho: I was wrong over Eric Dier comments

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho admits he was 'wrong' to blame Eric Dier's poor form on a lack of confidence after the defender rejected those claims.

“He’s decent on the ball but he hasn’t got the pace.”

Agbonlahor also insisted that Colombia international Sanchez and Alderweireld are better centre-halves than Dier.

The pundit also suggested a plan for Dier which Mourinho could use going forward.

Agbonlahor wants Dier back in midfield

Eric Dier TEAMtalk

“Sanchez has got the pace but he’s not as good as the ball but you’d rather sacrifice being good on the ball,” he said.

“Your biggest attribute as a defender now is you’ve got to be able to run and match the quick strikers in the Premier League and Europe.

“Alderweireld as well is more of an all-round defender than Dier. I think Dier, I’d play him as a defensive midfielder in the big games.

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“But I think it will be a spell on the sidelines, which is needed. You can’t keep changing partnerships. Mourinho used to play Ricardo Carvalho and John Terry at Chelsea. He didn’t bring in other defenders. Centre-halves need that partnership.”

Meanwhile, Sanchez has said that he “never” considered leaving Spurs despite exit transfer links in January.

READ MORE: Rejuvinated Tottenham star claims he “never, never wanted” January exit