Former Tottenham captain Ledley King has backed Eric Dier to develop into a “world-class” centre-half, despite impressing in midfield this season.
Having operated in defence throughout his debut Premier League campaign, Dier has shone as a holding midfielder for both club and country this term.
But King, one of Spurs’ greatest central-defenders, believes the 22-year-old can move up a level should he return to his original position.
“I don’t want to be disrespectful but I still think he’ll be a centre-back and that’s nothing to do with his performances in midfield, because he can clearly play there. If he was to move back to centre-back, he would be even better there, especially given his experience in midfield,” King told ESPN.
“You play in midfield as a centre-half and find time on the ball in an area that’s congested. When you get to the back, it’s easier. You have time on the ball and you’re more comfortable. You see the game a lot more clearly. The game comes to you.
“That’s what I was able to do after playing in midfield. Centre-half felt like a doddle and that can be true for Eric as well.
“That’s something he can do, it’ll help him. I feel he can be a world-class centre-back after having this experience in midfield. But it’s up to him. I always knew I wanted to be a centre-half.
“You have to know in your own head where you want to play and then you have to earn the opportunity, and then you have to show you can take your level higher in your favourite position.”