Eric Dier has revealed how his bromance with fellow Tottenham star Dele Alli has blossomed since the pair moved to White Hart Lane.
Alli joined Spurs from MK Dons in the summer of 2015 for a paltry fee of £5m – Dier having moved 12 months earlier in a £4m transfer from Sporting – and the duo have become inseparable thanks to their growing friendship both on and off the pitch.
Tottenham supporters have been treated to numerous funny videos and images from Dier and Alli ribbing each other about certain subjects and, in a column written for the Players’ Tribune website, Dier went into detail about meeting Alli and how the pair became good friends.
He wrote: “When Dele first arrived at Tottenham we played quite a few preseason games in midfield together and very quickly we started to get along very well.
“Dele’s a good lad who loves his football and is very easy to get on with. The way he plays football is the way he is.
“Our friendship just shows what’s so great about the game. Dele is a kid from Milton Keynes who made his way to Tottenham and is now playing for England. I grew up in Lisbon and came over to England when I was 20 and ended up playing with him on the national side.
“I think that’s what’s so beautiful about football — people come from all over the world and it brings them together, no matter where they’re from, their culture, their race or their religion. You meet on the pitch and you’re all equals.”
Before his switch to Tottenham, Dier spent time on loan at fellow Premier League side Everton, but he returned to Portgual after the Toffees failed to agree the ridiculously small £1m fee required to bring him to Goodison Park permanently.
The England international added that his time with the Blues, coupled with his inability to break into the first-team set up with them and his parent club, was the most difficult part of his playing career to date and thanks Spurs for taking the plunge to sign him.
He wrote: “My hardest times came before I joined Tottenham. At 16, there was a period when I went on loan to Everton, and that was extremely tough for me. I moved on my own from Lisbon to Liverpool, and for the first six months I didn’t know what I was doing there — I felt completely lost.
“At that age, you doubt yourself. You give so much to football but you don’t know if it’s going to give anything back. It’s sort of a lottery. Then in my last season at Sporting Lisbon I barely played any games.
“In my first season with the senior team I had been involved a lot, but then a new manager came in and I didn’t get as much playing time. That was a horrible period — probably my worst, and I didn’t know what was going to happen.
“You know, playing in Portugal is a bit different than playing in England. Things can go south very quickly — the lower leagues in Portugal are not quite the same as they are in England. It was tough for me, but then in the summer a new manager came in, Marco Silva (who’s now the manager at Hull).
“He was fantastic for me in the month we were both there, and at that point I wasn’t thinking about anything other than trying to start for Sporting Lisbon. But then Tottenham came about when I was least expecting it. It was a chance that I had to take and thankfully it has worked out well.”
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