Eric Dier has revealed the Tottenham star who makes the ‘whole team play better’ following his outstanding second-half display against Leicester on Saturday.
Spurs crushed the struggling Foxes 6-2 but did not have things all their own way and were level at 2-2 at half-time after a below-par opening period against Brendan Rodgers’ men.
Son Heung-min grabbed all the headlines with his hat-trick off the bench. However, Dier was full of praise for midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur after the game.
The former Juventus man gave Tottenham the lead early in the second half. He was also full of running and dictated the tempo for Antonio Conte’s men as they started to get on top.
And speaking to Spurs Play after the contest, Dier said: “Rodri [Bentancur] is amazing man, fantastic player.
“I think we play well when he plays well. I think it’s the biggest compliment I can give him.
“When he plays like he did in the second-half, we’re such a good team with him. Because he offers so much defensively and then with the ball he’s got so much quality.
“A lot of personality as well to play and to play in tight spaces. Really happy for him and yeah Sonny [Heung-Min Son] steals it because he gets three goals like he did [smiles]. For me, Rodri was fantastic today.”
Bentancur was the driving force for that second-half performance and took his goal really well.
The Uruguayan won the ball from Wilfred Ndidi and drove up the pitch before finishing calmly from 20 yards.
The 25-year-old was also able to play further forward after Conte brought on Yves Bissouma to stiffen up Tottenham‘s midfield.
Getting back to winning ways was imperative for Spurs after their midweek Champions League defeat.
That leaves them nicely placed in the top three going into the international break. However, there is the small matter of a north London derby looming on the horizon.
Tottenham will head to the Emirates on Saturday October 1, followed by a trip to Eintracht Frankfurt three days later.
Bissouma cameo shows Conte what Tottenham midfield needs
While Bentancur played well in the second half against Leicester, Bissouma’s cameo from the bench showed exactly what he can bring to Tottenham’s midfield.
The former Brighton man replaced Dejan Kulusevski with 20 minutes to go and Spurs still only 3-2 up. But his presence in a midfield three allowed Bentancur to operate further forward and meant Conte’s men had more of a link between midfield and attack.
Despite starting the season well, Tottenham fans will admit that the team has not played particularly well.
Part of that is due to the fact that they do not dominate possession in the middle of the park. Both Bentancur and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are there as a defensive shield in front of the back three, but that leaves a big gap to the forward line. And unless Harry Kane comes deep there is a lack of creativity centrally in the side.
Bissouma showed all aspects of his game when he came on. But his ability to keep hold of the ball and pass and move was clearly evident.
Conte has already hinted that the Mali international will be more involved after the international break, which can only be good news for Spurs going forward.
Tottenham have a hugely busy period after the break, with games in the Premier League and Champions League coming thick and fast.