It has recently been reported that Eric Dier is a target for Bayern Munich as a possible replacement for Xabi Alonso, with the Bundesliga giants reported to have a “crush” on the England midfielder – who they view as a viable replacement for Spanish stalwart Xabi Alonso.
It seems highly unlikely that Dier would leave Spurs this summer, but as he continues to evolve as a player, Tom Hackett examines how Dier could be transition from destroyer to dictator. There are a number of similarities between the two players, with both players renowned for their ability to recycle the ball and enable the attacking players to get on the ball quicker.
The average pass length of both players is also pretty similar, with Dier averaging 18.76m per pass compared to Alonso’s 17.68m per pass, highlighting the tendency of both players to look long.
Alonso has made 78 appearances for Bayern Munich following his 2014 move.
Both players have made one assist each, however, Alonso does create a lot more chances per game than Dier, averaging at 1.56 per game in comparison to Dier’s production of 0.48 per game. A fact that could be exacerbated by the dominance of the German side over their respective division.
Alonso and Dier also win exactly the same of number of tackles per game, 1.64 per game, highlighting the important role that both players have in protecting their back line.
Of the pair, Dier has proven fair superior at winning back possession for his team, perhaps a key factor as to why Bayern have been watching his performances.
When compared against Alonso’s league form, Dier has performed better in interceptions per game, total duels won and tackles lost per game where he has on average 2.33 interceptions per game, won 47.81% of his duels and lost only 2.03 tackles per game.
Alonso has only made 1.56 interceptions per game, won 43.48% of his total duels and lost 2.92 tackles per game.
Again, facts that could be influenced by the playing styles of the players respective teams.
Dier’s defensive superiority could be a factor in Bayern’s reported interest in the Englishman, as Ancelotti may favour a more defensive head in midfield over the technical ball-player Guardiola covets.
Bayern have also struggled in central defence this season with injuries to Jerome Boateng, Medhi Benetia and Holger Badstuber have meant David Alaba and Joshua Kimmich have had to cover.
This has left Bayern thin in this area and with Dier able to play at centre back, this versatility may be another factor as why Bayern are interested.
Despite interest from one of Europe’s great super clubs, we will all be hoping that Spurs exceptional growth under Pochettino is enough to prove to Dier that the White Hart Lane is the place that he can fulfil his dreams.
Written by Tom Hackett
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