ERIC DIER revealed he was ready to quit Spurs before Jose Mourinho reinvented him as a defender.
The England ace had lost his way in North London and didn’t feature at all for his country last season.
Eric Dier thought about leaving Tottenham until Jose Mourinho made him a defenderCredit: Reuters
Dier told The Daily Mail: “That was definitely on my mind. I didn’t feel like I was achieving what I wanted.
“When your contract starts to come to an end, you question if you’re part of the future.
“I had no desire to be at a club in the last year of my contract. The club knew the summer would see a decision made either way.”
The versatile 26-year-old eventually penned a new deal in July to put pay to thoughts of moving on.
Dier admitted he thought ‘my career was over’ when he was hauled off by Mourinho after just 29 minutes against Olympiacos in the Champions League last season.
The Sporting Lisbon academy product explained: “It really was one of the toughest moments in my professional life.”
Dier had been playing in the middle of the park when he was hooked well before half-time and he realised it was time to reiterate his desire to star in the heart of defence – something he had already told Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate.
He added: “The manager was completely right to take me off. I wasn’t performing. And we won the game.
“But having to take steps back from the commitment I had made to my new position at that time was very difficult for me.
“I had played Pochettino‘s last two games at centre-back, so it was difficult to go back to playing in midfield again.
“I explained that to Mourinho. I said to him: ‘This is where I want to play. In defence’. But I knew it was a risk.”
He finally got a chance in February this year after only starting five games since the early subbing in November 2019, a week after Mourinho took over.
Mourinho’s unsuccessful Chelsea homecoming sparked the change Dier had been waiting for.
He said: “After Chelsea he came to me. He just said: ‘Ok if you want to play centre back, now is your chance. Show me’.
“I thrived off that challenge. It was what I had wanted to hear. It was an opportunity.
“My main focus is always to be in a position competing to play. Feeling there’s a plan in place for me is important, too.
“They were the major factors in me deciding to stay here and I couldn’t be happier.”