Why unhappy Tottenham midfielder would be the perfect addition to Chelsea back three
COMMENT By Matt Farr
Premier League leaders Chelsea may be considering adding one more defensive asset to perfect their title bid in January, and have been linked with a host of names.
However, despite an intense rivalry between the two clubs, Antonio Conte should look no further than Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier.
Conte took time to instate his preferred 3-4-3 system into Chelsea’s tactical pedigree, and after a shaky start, it looks to be paying off for the Blues, who are on a run of nine straight league wins.
If Conte wants further success, any player he brings in during the transfer window must be competent in his system, or be able to adapt in quick time. Dier could be the perfect choice, given his versatility.
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The England international can operate in both defence and midfield, which can give Conte another ball-playing option at the back – like he currently has with David Luiz.
During his previous spell at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho, Luiz was occasionally deployed as a midfielder, where he showcased his ball-winning skills as well as an ability to drive forward.
That is the same role Conte wants Luiz to play in Chelsea’s back-three, and Dier would offer the exact same thing, a role which he has showcased continually for both Spurs and England.
Dier and Luiz would complement each other very well. The pair would operate alongside one-another, giving greater defensive solidarity, whilst also offering quicker distribution and an ability to play out from the back.
Amid reports in the Times that veteran defender John Terry is set to leave the club in the summer, Dier would most likely come in as a long-term replacement.
If Nemanja Matic – who holds the pieces together in the centre of midfield – would get injured, meanwhile, Dier can also step up and fill the position there. It’s a no-brainer option for Conte.
Furthermore, John Obi Mikel, is not likely to stay at Stamford Bridge beyond the current season, while there are doubts as to whether Cesc Fabregas will remain at the club in the long-term. Therefore, a midfield reinforcement is also inevitable.
Tottenham will by no means want to sell any of their players to a major rival, but they may not have a choice.
Chelsea and Conte should play that to their advantage, and if they can win both the Premier League title and secure their return to the Champions League this season, they’ve got the full package deal to offer him.
In other Tottenham news, Mauricio Pochettino shares the risks the club will take in the January transfer window.