Manchester United have made the biggest signing of the summer so far after buying Romelu Lukaku from Everton for a fee of £75 million. Jose Mourinho is keen to press ahead for further additions as he attempts to build a squad capable of competing on multiple fronts. He will want to see progression and a title challenge is needed if he is to prove himself as a manager capable of leading the club forward for years to come. The next position on his agenda is a defensive midfield, to add balance to that area of his squad. A number of players have been linked, but Eric Dier is emerging as a key target and it could be a move that shakes up the Premier League.
Why do Manchester United want to sign him?
It is always appealing to sign an England international and United would be getting one of the best. At the age of 23, he has already emerged as a great Premier League player in two separate positions and he has potential to grow significantly in the future. The thought is that United are in the market for a holding midfielder to free up Paul Pogba and it is likely that Dier would be utilised in this role at Old Trafford, despite his promising showings as part of a back three last season.
During the 2016/17 campaign, he averaged 2.3 ball recoveries per game. This was down from 4.3 from the previous campaign and this reflects the effect that a change of position had on him. He has been switching roles constantly with Tottenham and it has harmed his development. As a player, he is aggressive when he doesn’t have the ball and is calm in possession. He is a forward-thinking player and often looks to pass the ball forward when possible. If he signed for United, he would be asked to win the ball back and play a simple pass to one of the more talented players in the team.
His aerial ability is also impressive and that will be another reason why Mourinho wants to bring him to Old Trafford. The United boss has always favoured physical players and Dier would add power to the midfield. He averaged two successful aerial duels per game last season and he also offers a threat from set pieces. During the last two seasons, he has contributed five goals in the league and that adds to his value.
Should Tottenham sell him?
Deals between top Premier League clubs are difficult, especially when the selling club have no interest in losing the player as is the case with Dier. The fee being mentioned will tempt Tottenham, as Dier is replaceable, but Mauricio Pochettino rates him highly and will want to continue developing the 23-year-old. Another thing to consider in a deal like this is the image that it gives the club. Tottenham have the ambition to win major honours and losing a first team player to a rival makes them look weak, especially to potential targets. A lot depends on the player himself and whether he will want the move. If he does, then it may be worth considering the offer, before reinvesting it in a specialist for both centre back and central midfield, as this will provide the squad with balance.