Eric Dier was not on the bench for Tottenham Hotspur in their week 1 draw at Brentford today, despite featuring heavily in all of Spurs’ preseason games. That seemed curious at the time! But maybe we now know why.
According to Mohamed Alkaoud, a reporter for BBC Arabic, it sure sounds like Dier has now joined Saudi Arabian side al-Nassr as their newest player. Woah.
exclusive : English defender Eric Dier, Tottenham Hotspur player, is a new player in Al-Nassr Saudi Arabia. pic.twitter.com/GRQcKA6yYE— Mohamed Alkaoud _محمد القاعود (@melkaaoud) August 13, 2023
Now, we don’t know anything more than what’s in that tweet — no idea on a transfer fee, what kind of wages Dier might earn in Saudi Arabia, anything. Nor has another reporter corroborated this report as of the time of this article’s posting. Also, the sociopolitical implications of Dier moving to a Saudi Arabian club in the context of the massive amounts of cash they’re splashing this summer to sportswash their way to football “respectability” makes this issue... well, “complicated” is a very mild way of putting it.
But you know, I was wondering when (or even if) a Saudi club would come for a Tottenham player this summer. Truthfully, Eric Dier isn’t the player I would’ve guessed would go get that Middle Eastern bag, but I suppose it makes sense? Spurs are looking at defensive reinforcements, he’s not particularly suitable for Ange Postecoglou’s tactics, Davinson Sanchez seems to be ahead of him in the pecking order, and he wasn’t named as part of the team’s leadership group.
Al-Nassr, by the way, is one of the Saudi Pro League’s clubs that’s owned by the Kingdom, and is also the current club of one Cristiano Ronaldo (you might have heard of him), in addition to Sadio Mane, Marcelo Brozovic, Alex Telles, and David Ospina.
Maybe this has been in the works for a while and we just didn’t know it. It’s certainly a lucrative escape hatch from Tottenham, if he really is leaving the club. The tweet above says that this is already a done deal. Maybe it is, but I’d still like to see some corroboration from an English journalist first. We’ll keep an eye on this.
Update: Ah, well. Nevertheless.
To save me from my mentions for the remainder of the evening (on these at least), it's a no to both the Romelu Lukaku and Eric Dier transfer rumours.— Alasdair Gold (@AlasdairGold) August 13, 2023