The former Sporting Lisbon youngster was a revelation in central midfield last season alongside Mousa Dembele, often dropping in to join centre-backs Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen and bolstering our defensive operation.
Having made himself an England regular thanks to his efforts in that role, he’s been equally impressive in our colours as part of a back three alongside Toby and Jan for the bulk of the current campaign before reprising his anchor role next to Mousa in recent weeks in the absence of Victor Wanyama.
Typically for such a focused individual, Eric has given his all in both positions and with the squad now boosted by Victor’s return to fitness, he says he remains totally committed to performing wherever Mauricio Pochettino chooses to deploy him – and continuing to develop all the while.
“Obviously depending on where I’m playing I have to adapt to that position, but I feel I can do that quite easily now because I’ve been playing in there regularly,” he said.
“I find it easy to adapt and I enjoy it – I think it makes me a much better footballer, being able to play in all these positions and adapt to them.
“We’ve got a fantastic squad and everyone plays their part. People don’t see what happens behind the scenes but everyone works extremely hard every day, playing or not playing, which is really important.
“Everyone is pushing each other and to get to where we want to get, we have to be a squad and everyone has to fight and push each other to improve. Wherever I’m playing, I just want to be the best in that position.”
As we count down to Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final clash with Chelsea, Eric believes it’s a big plus to have different options with which to approach our matches.
“Every game is different,” he added. “It depends on the opposition and how we want to play and what the manager wants.
“I think we are a very versatile team, not one-dimensional and we can adapt to all sorts of scenarios, but still stick to our philosophy. It’s important to be able to be flexible and we’ve got the players to do that.”