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Sunday 26 March 2017

Pochettino insists Dier is happy with role

Eric Dier. Pic: Getty
Eric Dier. Pic: Getty

Mauricio Pochettino insists Eric Dier has never told him he is unhappy with his role at Tottenham.

Dier has been used in a variety of positions by Pochettino, who played the 22-year-old at full-back when he first took charge, only to subsequently use him in midfield and central defence.

Toby Alderweireld's return to fitness and Victor Wanyama's impressive form anchoring Tottenham's midfield means Dier's place in the team has come under threat.

Bayern Munich are one club reportedly monitoring the situation, having sent scouts to watch Dier last season, but Pochettino believes his player is content at White Hart Lane.

"I never hear from him that he wasn't happy," Pochettino said. "When he was playing like a midfielder, centre-back, full-back, he has never come to say to me: 'I'm not happy to play in that position'.

"We are talking about rumours so it's too difficult to say things."

Dier was moved into central midfield last season and was a revelation there, helping Tottenham launch a surprise title challenge and earning a starting spot for England at Euro 2016.

Wanyama's arrival, however, and Alderweireld's eight-week absence with a knee injury has seen Dier used predominantly in defence this term.

He has started 12 out of Spurs' 16 Premier League games but was left on the bench for the defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.

"Eric Dier, for me, he's 22 years old, he's a player that arrived as a 19-year-old here and after two years and a half, he has played more than 40 games every season," Pochettino said.

Tottenham host Burnley tomorrow, looking to build on Wednesday's 3-0 victory over Hull and reduce the 10-point gap between them and league leaders Chelsea.

The Clarets sit in 13th place, five points clear of the relegation zone, following their return to the top flight after one campaign back in the Sky Bet Championship. While they have picked up five wins at Turf Moor, it has been a different story away from home - they have managed just one draw and suffered six defeats.

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