It’s safe to say that Eric Dier has not enjoyed 2019 much thus far. Once one of Spurs’ most dependable players, seldom prone to injuries or missing time, he has battled through adversity since the start of December, making only six appearances and two starts.
Dier ran into a trio of unexpected problems — first a bout of appendicitis that kept him out from mid-December through mid-January, then tonsillitis that left him out of the squad for almost the whole of February. He then recovered fitness just in time to play 90 minutes in Spurs’ loss to Southampton before getting called up for England duty where he injured his hip during EURO qualification.
It’s been rough, but Eric is back, starting and playing 60 minutes in Saturday’s loss to Manchester City, and in quotes given to Tottenham’s website he says he’s learned a few things from his experiences.
“It’s been the most difficult four months of my career and that says a lot about how lucky I’ve been up to this point to stay away from injuries and illnesses.
“I think overall I’ve been very lucky and that’s the way I look at it.
“It’s been a very difficult period but at the same time a period where I’ve been able to learn a lot of things, re-assess a lot of things, learn about myself and that’s what I’ve tried to do. Touch wood, I can kick on now and help the team.
“As I said, I’ve been so lucky to always be fit and available and every player will have periods like this but for someone who prides himself on always being fit and available, it’s been difficult.
“Everyone has been fantastic, the boys have been incredible and it’s been nerve-wracking watching some of those games!”
Having Dier back, hopefully for good until the end of the season, will be massive as Spurs try to secure Champions League qualification for next season by finishing in the top four. With Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks both injured, it will fall to some combination of Dier, Victor Wanyama, and Dele Alli to fill the center of midfield and get some important wins, not only in the Premier League but also in the Champions League semifinals against Ajax.
Should he play, tomorrow’s match against Brighton will be the first time Dier will have played at the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium. Thankfully, there are still more than enough matches left for Dier to make his presence felt in the midfield and help lead Spurs to even bigger and greater things this season.