Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy is looking for the 12th manager of his tenure, having taken over from Sir Alan Sugar in December 2000.
The last few seasons have certainly been underwhelming, if not hugely disappointing. That’s because the north London outfit still remain without silverware since 2008, despite arguably appointing their best-ever managers, at least in terms of calibre.
Both Jose Mourinho and now Antonio Conte have failed – two coaches that have won honours at every other club they’ve been at, triumphs that include the Premier League, FA Cup and even Champions League.
Perhaps the Lilywhites are merely a poisoned chalice, with a lot of such failings falling at the feet of Levy and the ENIC Group.
However, there is a crop of players that have survived the long-standing turmoil in the dugout, with the likes of Ben Davies, Hugo Lloris and Eric Dier all still starting every week, just as they were under Mauricio Pochettino several years ago.
Things are wildly different now though and the question has to be asked, is someone like Dier part of the fabric at Spurs – or is he part of the problem?
How much has Eric Dier cost Spurs?
It’s easy to forget that the England international was once at a career crossroads at Hotspur Way, with Pochettino unsure on whether he was a defensive midfielder or centre-back. It wasn’t until Mourinho’s short-lived tenure that he was forced into the backline – where he’s been ever since.
Tottenham’s frontline has rarely been an issue during this time, considering just how lethal and prolific Harry Kane is, and his partnership with Heung-min Son has often carried the club through many victories both domestically and across Europe – somehow Poch had them in the Champions League final.
Since, they have struggled to navigate the Europa Conference League and only just sneaked into the top four last season, thanks to Arsenal crumbling under the pressure.
Dier is part of a defence that has often made a mockery of the foundations that both Mourinho and Conte have relied upon throughout their managerial careers. Indeed, Spurs currently have the worst defensive record of any team in the top 11 right now, whilst last term, they had conceded the most goals inside the top four.
Across both seasons, the 29-year-old titan has started 62 top-flight matches, of which his returns in the tackling and interception per game metrics have been well below his career average, as per WhoScored.
As recently as the weekend, Dier was lambasted as “terrible” by football writer Andrew Gaffney, whilst earlier in the campaign, talkSPORT pundit Darren Ambrose suggested he was “not good enough for a top-four side.”
Whoever takes charge in the dugout next season, they’ll have an interesting dilemma on what to do with the £18m-rated defender. Whilst he costs pennies from Sporting CP back in 2014 – around £4m to be precise – he has been among the highest earners on the wage bill for quite some time, currently raking in around £85k-per-week.
When factoring in his £4m fee and everything he’s earned in salary (£26.4m) by the end of 2023, Dier has cost Levy and ENIC a total of £30.4m, which roughly equates to £3.38m per season.
For context, some of Spurs’ modern-day greats cost a fraction of this and they have arguably been more useful for the club, such as Christian Eriksen (£11.5m fee plus £75k-per-week wages) or Luka Modric (£16.5m plus £46k-per-week).
Dier is surely part of the problem around Tottenham Hotspur and this season should be his last, at the very least as a regular starter. He has ransacked the club for far too long and it’s time to move on to help the club progress forward in the right direction.