Born: 15 January 1994 (Cheltenham, England)
Eric Dier joined us from Sporting Lisbon in July, 2014.
Initially deployed as a right-back, then into central midfield, Eric has now settled into a central defensive role and was a key figure as we finished fourth in the Premier League and secured a return to the UEFA Champions League in 2021/22.
Eric impressed from the off during that season, but upon Antonio Conte's arrival in November, 2021, took up the key role of the central defender of three centre-backs in Antonio's 3-4-3 system, a role he excelled in. Eric made 35 appearances in the Premier League in 40 in all competitions in 2021/22 as we kept eight clean sheets in our final 14 matches on the way to fourth. By the end of the season, Eric had racked up 319 appearances for us in all competitions.
Born in Cheltenham but brought up in Portugal after his parents moved there in 2004, Eric was snapped up by Sporting Lisbon's Academy and progressed through the system to their first team, eventually making 30 appearances.
Upon joining Spurs, he gained instant hero status with a last-minute winner at West Ham on the opening day of the 2014/15 Premier League season, bursting through from right-back to finish in style at Upton Park! He followed that up with a goal on his home debut in a 4-0 win against Queens Park Rangers the following week and went on to feature 36 times in all competitions, including 28 appearances (25 starts) in the Premier League, switching between central defensive and right-back roles. He started at centre-half in the 2015 League Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley.
He then enjoyed a terrific 2015/16 campaign in holding midfield that saw him make an impact for club and country. He started all bar one of our Premier League games that season - only missing out on the Liverpool home game in October, 2015, through suspension. He scored four goals in all competitions including a memorable strike in a 4-1 home win over Manchester City and played his way into the senior England squad, making his debut against Spain in November, 2015.
Having started the 2016/17 season for us alongside new arrival Victor Wanyama in midfield, he found a home as part of a back three within a 3-4-2-1 formation. That campaign also yielded a Champions League debut for Eric and, in all, he scored two goals in 46 appearances, captaining us for the first time at Liverpool in the EFL Cup in October, 2016, and then wearing the armband in the early rounds of our run to the FA Cup semi-finals.
The 2017/18 campaign saw him largely deployed back in the holding midfield role. In all, Eric played 47 times during that season, including seven starts in a memorable Champions League campaign that saw us beat Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid before running Juventus close in the last 16.
Despite a couple of spells on the sidelines in 2018/19, one of which followed an operation to remove his appendix in December, 2018, he popped up with three Premier League goals, including the winner at home to Cardiff City in October, 2018, and the opener in the 2-2 home draw with Everton on the last day of the domestic season. His other goal came in the north London derby at Arsenal at the start of December, 2018. In total, Eric made 28 appearances in all competitions during that campaign, including a substitute appearance in the Champions League Final against Liverpool in Madrid.
Eric had an up and down 2019/20 campaign. Initially out of the side, he returned in a central defensive role in March, and stayed there in eight of our last 12 matches, that run of games only interrupted by suspension. Indeed, it was a positive end to a tough season as Eric signed a new deal in July, 2020, and was then recalled to the England squad in August, 2020.
Eric made 39 appearances for us in all competitions in 2020/21. Highlights included scoring from the spot as we toppled Chelsea on penalties in the League Cup and reaching 250 appearances for us in a 1-0 win at West Brom in November, 2020. He started in the League Cup Final against City in April, 2021, his third cup final appearance for the Club.
Capped by England at Under-18, Under-19 and Under-20 levels, Eric also earned nine Under-21 caps prior to his breakthrough into the senior international set-up in 2015. In his third game for the Three Lions in March, 2016, he powered home a stoppage time header to secure a 3-2 victory away to Germany - a game in which fellow Spur Harry Kane was also on target. Subsequently, he played in all four of England's games at Euro 2016, scoring their first goal in the group stage with a powerful free-kick against Russia, was handed the England captain's armband for the first time in a goalless home draw with Germany in November, 2017, and was part of the squad that finished fourth at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, memorably scoring the winning penalty in a last 16 shootout win over Colombia. He also proudly led the team out against Belgium in the tournament. At the end of the 2021/22 campaign, Eric had 45 senior caps to his name, and led the Three Lions on five occasions.