Name: Eric Dier Born: Cheltenham, England Date of birth: 15/01/94 Club: Tottenham Position: Defence/midfield International: Seven U21 England caps Did you know? 1) Dier was born in Cheltenham, but moved to Portugal when he was seven. When he was nine years old a PE teacher at his English-speaking school recommended he go for trials at Sporting who he trained with before eventually joining the club’s academy at 14. Now at a Portuguese-speaking school, he learned to speak the language fluently. His progress since has been rapid and last year former Arsenal captain Tony Adams told talkSPORT Dier was the ideal man to become the Gunners’ midfield screen and protect the defence. It was something they had been missing since Gilberto’s departure, he thought. 2) His grandfather is former FA secretary Ted Croker, who held the position between 1973 and 1989. He died in December 1992, just over a year before Dier was born. 3) Dier is comfortable with the ball at his feet and can play at centre-back, full-back or in a defensive midfield role. He spent time on loan with the Everton reserves in 2011 and at the start of the 2012/13 season, he was playing for Sporting’s B team. 4) He was handed his first team debut against Braga in November 2012 and it was an excellent introduction to the senior game as his cross set up Ricky van Wolfswinkel who scored the winner in a 1-0 victory. His first senior goal came in his second outing with the team in a 2-2 draw at Moreirense. 5) Despite growing up in Portugal, Dier still classes himself as English and made his England U18 debut in a 1-1 draw with Slovakia in November 2011. He has made further appearances for the U19s, U20s and is now part of the U21 squad. Dier was also part of England’s disappointing U20 World Cup team, which crashed out of the group stage in Turkey without winning a game in 2013.