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Eric Dier admits he was ready to leave Tottenham after positional change

Eric Dier
(Image credit: PA)

Eric Dier has admitted he considered leaving Tottenham last season.

The England international found himself in and out of the team under Jose Mourinho, with his contract set to expire in 2021.

Dier has since signed a new deal at Spurs and has impressed in a new role at centre-back after first being redeployed there by Mourinho in February.

But he has now revealed that he was thinking about finding a new club before his positional change.

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“That was definitely on my mind,” Dier told the Daily Mail. “I didn't feel like I was achieving what I wanted. When your contract starts to come to an end, you question if you're part of the future. 

“I had no desire to be at a club in the last year of my contract. The club knew the summer would see a decision made either way.”

The nadir for Dier last season came in a Champions League tie against Olympiacos, when Mourinho substituted him after just 29 minutes.

Spurs staged a second-half fightback, coming from two goals to win 4-2 in the Champions League group stage.

“The manager was completely right to take me off. I wasn't performing. And we won the game. But having to take steps back from the commitment I had made to my new position at that time was very difficult for me.

“I had played [Mauricio] Pochettino's last two games at centre-back, so it was difficult to go back to playing in midfield again. I explained that to Mourinho. I said to him: ‘This is where I want to play. In defence’. But I knew it was a risk.”

It took Dier a little longer to earn his manager’s trust in that position, but a 2-1 defeat by Chelsea in February persuaded Mourinho to make a change.

“After Chelsea he came to me,” he said. “He just said: ‘OK, if you want to play centre-back, now is your chance. Show me’.

“I thrived off that challenge. It was what I had wanted to hear. It was an opportunity. My main focus is always to be in a position competing to play. Feeling there's a plan in place for me is important, too. They were the major factors in me deciding to stay here and I couldn't be happier.”

Spurs will be looking to maintain their position at the top of the Premier League when they renew hostilities with Arsenal on Sunday.

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