Tony Adams has claimed that he told his former club Arsenal they should sign Tottenham Hotspur star Eric Dier in 2012 but the Gunners turned down the opportunity.
The England international left Sporting Lisbon for Spurs in 2014 for what now looks a paltry sum of £4 million and has gone on to become an important player at White Hart Lane, winning 17 caps for his country in the process.
Dier has become essential to Mauricio Pochettino’s style of play at Tottenham, with the versatile star able to play in either the heart of his side’s defence or anchor the Lilywhites’ midfield.
The 23-year-old is part of a young, hungry group of Spurs players that has put together consecutive Premier League title challenges and recently extended his contract with the North London side.
Adams suggests that Arsenal turned down his advice to sign Dier and decided instead to go for Calum Chambers from Southampton.
“I recommended Eric Dier to Arsenal,” he told The Times.
“I did the England Under-19s with Blakey [Noel Blake] in 2012, and phoned [Arsenal scout] Steve Rowley and said, ‘Dier’s head and shoulders above any English player in this camp. Do it now. €5million.
“I knew the get-out clause at Sporting. Steve said that Arsenal’s Portuguese scout said he was a bit one-paced. So Arsenal didn’t. They did get Calum Chambers for £17million — no disrespect to Calum.
“Spurs got Dier, pushed him into midfield, maybe he hasn’t got the aggression, but in the modern game now, you don’t need to be aggressive so he’ll probably end up the perfect central defender.”
Adams’ comments will no doubt add fuel to the fire of the Arsenal fans who have been demanding Arsene Wenger leave the club in recent months while Dier is said to be a potential £40m transfer target for Manchester United this summer.