Eric Dier risks being frozen out at Tottenham just like Dele Alli was – unless he drastically raises his game.
That is according to ex-Premier League star Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after Dier was benched for the third successive match against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Has omission has coincided with a run of three straight victories, with Spurs conceding just once in that time.
In February, Mourinho claimed that Dier was suffering from a “crisis of confidence,” though the 27-year-old refuted this.
Since then, Dier has fallen out of favour and Mourinho appears to have settled on Davinson Sanchez and Toby Alderweireld as his preferred centre half partnership.
Whelan claims Dier is in danger of becoming an outcast at Tottenham just like Dele Alli was and must work hard to muscle his way back into contention.
He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “It’s a difficult one, isn’t it? Jose Mourinho always liked Eric Dier. He went to sign him at Manchester United.
“Maybe because of certain results, he’s been forced to change the partnership. There’s no doubt Alderweireld is head-and-shoulders above any other centre half at the club. He’s international quality and the type of leader you need out there.
“I think Eric Dier just needs to knuckle down and fight for his place like a lot of players have had to do.
“Dele Alli has been out in the cold but he’s fought for his place and now he’s getting an opportunity, as has Gareth Bale.
“When you’re at a big club and you’re not playing well you’ve got to expect that you’re going to get changed, you’re going to be on the bench.
“There’s that much competition that you can’t afford to have too many off days, and I think Eric Dier has done. He’s given away penalties and needless free-kicks and that’s probably contributed.”
Alli has struggled for game-time in the league this season and has started just two matches in total.
However, he has been given more minutes in recent weeks, appearing in six of Spurs’ last seven matches in all competitions.