Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Tottenham misfit addresses chance of return to ‘my club’ after becoming realistic target

Eric Dier and Emerson Royal of Tottenham

Eric Dier has declared Sporting CP as ‘my club’ after being pressed on the prospect of leaving Tottenham Hotspur for a second spell in Portugal.

Dier is into the final year of his contract with Tottenham, who signed him from Sporting back in 2014. Given Ange Postecoglou’s reluctance to use the versatile England international, an exit in either January or the summer seems certain.

The only question is what Dier’s next step might be. He has been tipped to reunite with Jose Mourinho at Roma, for example, in a move that would give him his first taste of Serie A action and place him in the same squad as his compatriots Chris Smalling and Tammy Abraham.

There have also been reports that Sporting – who also have another former Tottenham man among their ranks in the shape of Marcus Edwards – could be drafting up sensational plans to take Dier back to Portugal for a second spell in Lisbon.

And speaking at Web Summit in Lisbon, Dier has confirmed he can picture a future back in the country he grew up in – but stopped short of saying he will play in the Primeira Liga again.

“One day I am sure I will be back,” the 29-year-old said. “I think it is inevitable, if my wife wants to, we’ll come back one day to live when I have finished my career.

“To come back and play here, you never know, I can’t say.

“Sporting is my club, it will always be my club, it’s where I spent 12 years. Portugal as well for me is my home.

“I’m 29 so I hope I have a lot of years left to play. I’m still young. Football is my priority.”

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Although born in Cheltenham, Dier was raised in Portugal from the age of seven. He developed in Sporting’s setup from 2003 and eventually debuted for their first team in 2012.

Dier left Sporting with 31 appearances behind him, going on to establish himself in the Premier League and England national team.

He has more than 360 appearances to his name for Tottenham, but has only been used recently by Postecoglou as an emergency measure while short of preferred personnel.

Once the Australian tactician’s favoured players are back at his disposal, Dier will be down the pecking order again, so it makes sense for him to be exploring his options.

Dier envisages long season with Tottenham

For the time being, though, he remains focused on the challenge of trying to achieve success with Spurs, who are two points off the top of the Premier League table at the time of the November international break.

“We’re still at the start of the season, there is still a long way to go,” Dier said.

“I am experienced enough to know anything is possible.”

Tottenham last won a trophy in 2008, so Dier has no honours to account for his time in north London.

A feel-good factor is back at the club after Postecoglou took the reins in the summer, but whether or not Dier will be able to be a part of any future attempts to end their trophy drought is up for question.

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