Cristian Romero has experience playing in the middle of a defensive three and if this change is made at Tottenham, Antonio Conte will have to decide where this leaves Eric Dier.
The Italian has only been in charge for just over a week at Spurs, just a day after Nuno Espirito Santo was relieved of his duties.
During the Portuguese head coach’s four months in charge, Dier and Romero were top of his pecking order for centre-backs in his back four.
Despite the five defeats and some of the poor results, the defenders had put on some decent displays under Espirito Santo.
Conte is known for his 3-4-3 formation, which changes into a 3-2-5 when his side are in attack and this was quickly implemented with the Lilywhites.
In his first two games in charge, the Italian has played a back three of Ben Davies, Cristian Romero and Eric Dier, with the latter in the middle of the trio.
Under Espirito Santo, the Englishman would often play alongside Romero, Emerson Royal and Sergio Reguilon with the centre-back having a few more years in age and experience than his teammates.
Former Spurs goalkeeper Michel Vorm revealed the 27-year-old can speak English, Spanish and Portuguese, making it a lot easier for him to communicate with his back line.
With the 52-year-old now in charge, Dier is still the middle man, which may be because he has already shown more composure than the Argentine, which could partly be down to experience.
The Serie A defender of the year was shouted at by his defensive teammate during the 3-2 victory over Newcastle for being out of position and was sent off in Conte’s first game in charge, against Vitesse.
Argentina boss, Lionel Scaloni, sang the praises of the defender ahead of their fixture against Peru in the second international break of the season.
“He is one of the best in the world in his position,” he said.
“Overflowing with humility, it is what we want from the 30 that we summon.”
Romero has shown this quality on a number of occasions already this season, coming up against the likes of Man United’s Cristiano Ronaldo and West Ham’s Michail Antonio, doing his best to stop them getting past the Spurs defence.
Scaloni often opts for a back four when Argentina play but the 23-year-old has experience in the middle of a back three, during his time at Atalanta.
Romero has has already made 16 tackles in seven Premier League appearances and Dier has made just two in 11 league features.
Therefore, once the ex-Atalanta defender has completely settled into Conte’s side he may find himself moved in the middle of the back three, but where would that leave Dier?
The English defender has received criticism because, despite his spells of solid defending, he often has at least one mistake in matches.
This has already been seen this season with an own goal in the clash at St James’ Park as well as losing almost half of his duels in the league so far and losing 18 aerial battles, with only Harry Kane losing more.
If Romero does take his place in the middle of the back three, the big question will be whether Dier takes the Argentine’s current position or if he is replaced.
Joe Rodon, Davinson Sanchez and Japhet Tanganga are all options for the back trio, but only the Colombian has been given minutes under the new Tottenham boss so far, when he came on for the final quarter of the game against Vitesse.
Both Tanganga and Rodon may feel they have been a bit unlucky to not have more of a chance this season, especially the latter who has performed well when he was given the chance under Espirito Santo and for Wales.
If the 27-year-old’s position is taken by Romero and one of the other options in defence catches the eye of Conte, it could be the end of Dier’s Spurs era.
Therefore, the centre-back needs to sharpen up his game and eliminate those mistakes, which seem to happen at least once during matches, to ensure his spot in the back three isn’t at risk.
Dier will remain at Hotspur Way during the international break whilst Romero goes on duty with Argentina and this could be a prime opportunity to fine tune his form, with the tough training of his new manager, before the return to club fixtures.
Source by Football London