England U21 boss Southgate talks up Eric Dier's move to Spurs

Tottenham WHL

Ex England defender Gareth Southgate, now in charge of the country's Under-21 side, has been discussing Eric Dier's £4 million move to Tottenham.

Gareth Southgate knows better than most what it takes to be a top Premier League centre back, and the Watford born former England international will be keeping an interested eye on Eric Dier's time at Tottenham after the youngster impressed on his debut against Schalke last weekend.

The former Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Middlesborough defender made over 450 appearances in the English top flight, also amassing 57 caps for the Three Lions over the course of 9 years.

Now in charge of the England Under-21 side, Southgate has some experience working with the former Sporting Lisbon player, with the 20-year-old having amassed 5 caps at that level.

And the veteran of two European Championships and two World Cups told the FA website that though he wasn't bothered by the fact Dier wasn't playing in the UK, it will be a good challenge to test himself at a top Premier League club.

"I know Eric was keen to come back to England, he had a difficult season last year when he didn’t get a lot of first team football in Lisbon," said Southgate.

"He’s a young centre-back who will mature but he plays in a position which takes time to develop so it’s an interesting move for him to test himself over here."

Dier left one of the top club's in Portugal to move back to his family in London, and will surely be expecting to continue his Under-21 career, with Southgate set to announce his squad for the final two Euro qualifiers at the end of the month. The young centre back may even be dreaming of a call up to the full England squad, if he can make a positive impression at White Hart Lane.

"We monitored him very closely when he was in Lisbon and I didn’t mind the fact he was over there," added the former Boro boss.

"In fact, I thought it was a real positive for us to have a player playing abroad.

SEE ALSO: Three key clashes as West Ham host Spurs in the Premier League

"To try and get into the first team at Spurs will be a big challenge for him, but he might feel that it helps his cause because it’s easier for us to get to see him."

The new Tottenham signing will be hoping to make his competitive debut in the London derby with West Ham later today.

Can Dier break into the England team this season?

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch