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Tue 10 August 2021, 17:00|Tottenham Hotspur

Eric Dier is excited at what he sees as a new chapter at Spurs.

It’s seven years since the defender first arrived at Hotspur Way, then just 20, from Sporting Lisbon. Now preparing for his eighth season with us, Eric is up to 279 appearances in all competitions, has featured in three cup finals, including the Champions League Final, helped us to four top four finishes, earned 45 England caps and captained Club and country.

Back in 2014/15, he was part of a new chapter himself, breaking through with fellow youngsters Nabil Bentaleb, Harry Kane, Ryan Mason and Andros Townsend, and soon to be joined by the likes of Toby Alderweireld, Dele and Heung-Min Son for 2015/16. That summer, 10 senior players departed.

A number of Eric’s team-mates and close friends over the last seven years have now waved goodbye - the likes of Mousa Dembele, Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Erik Lamela - as we build again under Nuno Espirito Santo.

“Players who have been here a long time have left, there are new faces coming in and a new manager, so it definitely has the feeling that we’re at the beginning of a new chapter,” Eric told us this week. "I think it's something to be very excited about.

“I look at it very positively, coming off the back of a couple of difficult seasons. It’s early days, a lot of work to be done, relationships to be built, but I’m very positive about where things are at, very positive about the work we’ve put in so far.

“For me, it was a bit strange when Christian and Jan left, because these are people I’d spent a lot of time with, even more so outside football. Now Toby and Coco have left as well. I’ve only known Tottenham with Coco! He was another guy I was close to.

“At the same time, we all know it’s part of football. From a young age, we’re used to it, and there are a lot of guys I’m still close to and we’ll all also build new relationships, which is nice and refreshing as well. Changes are all part of football, part of life.”

I’m very positive about where things are at, very positive about the work we’ve put in so far

Eric Dier

Monday represents seven years to the day since Eric waltzed through West Ham’s defensive line to slot home an injury time winner on his debut at Upton Park. He followed that up with another goal on his home debut against QPR the week after and in an impressive first season, made 36 appearances in all competitions.

“I can’t believe it’s seven years,” he added. “I’m still only 27 as well! It’s been a long time, some incredible moments, incredible highs, some tough lows... it’s been a fantastic journey so far. I’ve met people who will be friends for life, regardless of football, built relationships, and it’s not the end! We’re talking like it’s the end! I want to experience even better moments.

“I’ve grown up a lot here. I was 20 when I arrived, very young, and experienced a lot of different things since then which shape you, a lot of experiences professionally and personally. I feel I’ve changed in a positive sense, and I’m striving to improve in every way I can.”