The pair have joined Harry Kane and Kyle Walker in the Three Lions squad for tonight’s (Friday, November 13) friendly in Spain and Tuesday’s clash with France at Wembley.
Both have caught the eye when teaming up in central midfield for us this season with box-to-box battler Dele having earned his first senior international call-up and subsequent caps in October, while Eric has played his way into Roy Hodgson’s squad for this first time this month after a series of outstanding performances in a holding role at club level.
Dele, 19, admits he’s been ably supported by Eric since he made the step up to Premier League level from MK Dons earlier this year – and he’s keen to enjoy more success alongside his “brother” with the Three Lions.
“I’m delighted for Eric that he’s won his first call-up,” said Dele. “Since I’ve arrived at Spurs he’s been like a big brother to me, so I’m thrilled to be able to work with him in the international set-up.
“He’s a great guy, he’s really looked after me at Spurs and hopefully we can play together for England.”
Eric himself is still only 21, but what does he make of the idea of being seen as Dele’s elder brother?
“We joke about it, but it’s his first season at the top level and I know how tough that can be,” said the versatile rearguard, who has moved seamlessly forward into midfield after operating at centre-half and right-back last term.
“Dele’s obviously a young lad so I try to help him out when I can – I’m not sure I’ve got a lot of experience to help him, but I try! We take the mickey out of each other sometimes and I have to keep his feet on the ground!
“In all seriousness, though, he’s a brilliant player and he was superb against Arsenal on Sunday. He offers so much – he comes back, he goes forward and he runs all day, so I’m really happy to work alongside him.”