Share this article

Antonio Conte has made a sensational claim regarding Eric Dier, claiming he can become one of the world's best defenders. 

Having seen his career falter under Jose Mourinho at Tottenham, Dier has flourished under Conte - becoming a near ever-present at centre-back.

Dier has started all-but three of Spurs' Premier League games this season, and won plaudits for Sunday's performance against Liverpool.

"I think that Eric Dier can become one of the best players in the world in that position," said Conte, ahead of Wednesday's Carabao Cup quarter-final with West Ham, "I think that position is perfect for him.

"For sure he needs to work, he needs to continue to improve, to understand very well the movement with the defensive line.

"He has to lead the defensive line because in that position you have to speak a lot because you have to stay in the middle, at the back where you can see everything.

"I think he has great space for improvement and we are talking about a really good player, strong physically, with a good personality. Good technically because he was before a midfielder.

"This role is perfect for him and he has to continue this way because in this role he can become one of the best central defenders."

Conte also confirmed that Tottenham will be taking legal action against UEFA over their exit from the Europa Conference League.

The North London club were effectively dumped out of Europe, when UEFA awarded Rennes a 3-0 walkover victory for the postponed final Group G game.

That decision means Spurs finished 3rd in the group, behind Rennes and Vitesse Arnhem.

The Tottenham squad was rife with coronavirus, meaning they couldn't field a team for the Rennes game, but Conte told reporters the issue is far from dead.

"UEFA took this decision but then there’s another step to confirm or not this incredible decision," said the Italia, "But I repeat I’m very disappointed with UEFA because everybody knows the problem.

"It means maybe someone doesn’t know the problem we were having and maybe some personal interests [behind the decision]."

Conte was asked if their next course of action would be in the courts, responding, "Yeah, and there is another step.

"UEFA took this decision but there’s another step and we’re confident that there’s another step. They take normal decision, not a decision in our favour.

"I repeat: it was incredible what UEFA did. Also, in explanation about this defeat, I have read that Tottenham couldn’t play the game for Covid cases. I dispute this. But they took this decision.

"We are very, very confident for the next step and I repeat we deserve to play the qualification on the pitch, not in the court.

"I can’t accept this. We are very, very disappointed with UEFA for this season."

John Martin swaps Waterford for solid air of Dundalk

Share this article

Read more about

Antonio Conte Conference League Eric Dier Spurs Tottenham Tottenham Hotspur UEFA UEFA Europa Conference League

You might like