Tottenham manager Antonio Conte’s passionate defence of Eric Dier’s form despite England snub

Antonio Conte is hoping Dier is back to national team duty sooner rather than later.

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has been left surprised after his influential defender Eric Dier was left out of this latest international break.

The 28-year-old has been one of Tottenham’s best players this season and has moved from being a liability to one of the assets of the north London club this season.

The defender himself says he’s never played as consistent and well as he’s done this season, but England manager Gareth Southgate has kept faith with Manchester United’s Harry Maguire and extended a call up to Crystal Palace’s young defender Marc Guehi.

The decision to overlook Dier has not gone down well with his manager Antonio Conte who insists Dier is one of the best in his position and can even transform into a world beater with a little bit of guidance.

The Italian manager said: “Honestly I hope for the players to receive this call up. He’s working very hard and at this moment he’s one of the best defenders in the league.

“He also has a lot of space to improve his performance and his quality and to become a stronger and stronger player.

“I’m sure if Eric continues to play this way, he has a great possibility to go to the World Cup because, I repeat, he’s one of the best defenders in this league.”

The Tottenham manager also lamented the timing of the international break after his team looked like they were just finding consistently.

Spurs put up a disciplined performance to see off West Ham 3-1 and move within three points of fourth placed Arsenal with both sides set to play in each other in the crack North London derby later in the season.

The Gunners are still favourites to clinch that previous fourth place and return Champions League football to the Emirates, but with Spurs on their heels, anything is possible with football’s ability to spring a surprise every now and then.

Spurs will take on Newcastle, Aston Villa and Brighton Hove and Albion after the international break with the date for rescheduled North London derby still up in the air.