Redknapp: This Tottenham first-teamer is not the same player he was last season
By Amir Mir
Jamie Redknapp has claimed Eric Dier is not the same player he was last season.
The midfielder produced a sloppy display in England’s 0-0 draw with Slovenia on Tuesday night after being given the nod to start in central midfield ahead of Wayne Rooney.
Gareth Southgate’s side produced a laboured performance as his team were lucky to leave with a point in their World Cup qualifying campaign.
Defensive midfielder Dier who was an unused substitute in his side’s 2-0 win against Malta on Saturday, played the full 90 minutes in Ljubljana.
Former Spurs midfielder Redknapp was critical of the performance of Dier, with the Sky Sports pundit believing he has been effected by the arrival of Victor Wanyama on the club scene.
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“Eric Dier is not the player he was last season,” Redknapp told the Daily Mail. “There was almost a strut to him last year with Tottenham and England, but I feel Victor Wanyama has had an effect on him.
“There’s that little competition for places and he is slightly lacking in confidence. On Tuesday night he was caught twice with back passes in the first half.
“When you’re playing well, your first thought is to play the ball forward but he was trying to take the safe option. He’ll get through this and he could be England’s captain one day, but no doubt it’s made a difference to his game.”
Dier was an instrumental figure for the north London club last term, helping his side secure a third place finish and Champions League football.
During the summer Mauricio Pochettino purchased midfield powerhouse Wanyama from Premier League rivals Southampton for £11 million.
The Kenyan has been ever-present for Spurs this campaign, as they are unbeaten after seven games, with Dier starting only five league games this term.
Pochettino’s side will be hoping to continue their impressive form when they take on West Brom at the Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon.
In other Tottenham team news, Kyle Walker helped England keep a clean sheet in Slovenia, but supporters provided mixed views on his performance.