Dier: “I feel like that 20-year-old when I first arrived”
Tue 21 July 2020, 10:30|Tottenham Hotspur
It’s six years since a young defender switched Sporting for Spurs, and stepped into our world-class training facility, Hotspur Way, for the first time.
Almost 250 appearances and 40 England caps later, Eric Dier feels excited like that ‘young boy’ again.
Now 26, Eric has put pen to paper on a new contract that will see him here for another four years - taking him up to 10 in a Spurs shirt.
After a tough spell of having to deal with illness and injury, including appendicitis in the middle of last season, he’s impressed back in a central defensive role under Jose Mourinho.
New contract, new position, new season on the horizon - Eric agreed that it feels like a new chapter for a player who made an instant impact with a last-minute winner on his debut at West Ham back on 16 August, 2014.
“That’s the way I feel about it,” Eric told us at Hotspur Way. “I feel like that 20-year-old when I first arrived. That’s the feeling I have right now. I feel like I’m at the beginning of a new journey.
“It’s a massive thing for me to be playing in a position I want to be playing and for the manager to be here as well, those were two really important things for me in making this decision.
“There have been many obstacles this season, right from the beginning. It’s been very difficult for everyone in different ways with everything that’s happened. Hopefully in that final game against Crystal Palace we can get the win and be in Europe next season, start with a clean slate and try to achieve the things we want to.
“I’m really happy to continue here and happy to commit to this new journey we’re on now with our new manager.”
What about those early days? In Eric’s first interview with Spurs TV, he told us how he wanted to adapt to the Premier League after growing up in Portugal and ‘just do the best I can, try my hardest, and have a good season’. After that dream debut at West Ham, he went on to make 36 appearances in all competitions in 2014/15 and has never really looked back. Indeed, between 2015-2018, Eric incredibly featured in 146 of our 161 matches in all competitions.
“I was a young boy then, I never expected to have the season I had in that first season, but things went as well as they possible could have gone,” he reflected. “I was nervous at the time, I didn’t really know what I was coming into, didn’t really know what to expect, so I was very happy with how that went and with how most things have gone since then.
“It’s crazy to think that I’ve been here for six years now, but I’ve enjoyed it a lot, all my time here. It’s been fantastic to work under the manager I was working under, and the manager I’m now working under. I’m very lucky and very privileged, and to be at a Club with this set-up and the players here, it’s a fantastic place to be.”
What is clear, six years and 239 appearances down the line, and having captained the team on occasions, is how much this Club means to Eric. He certainly wears his heart on his sleeve.
“It means a lot. It’s given me so much, this Club, gave me my opportunity in England, and so much since then. We’ve had great times together, and I want to have even better times, and I still feel there are a lot of things I need to achieve here before it’s over.”