According to Tony Adams, the former Arsenal defender recommended one of Tottenham’s current players to Arsenal five years ago.
Despite being adamant about Kieron Dier’s ability, then 18, Arsenal were seemingly uninterested and scouts didn’t follow up on Adams’ wishes to keep tabs on his progress.
In an article on football.london, Adams was quoted as saying:
“I recommended Eric Dier to Arsenal. I did the England u19s with Blakey [Noel Blake] in 2012, and phoned [Arsenal scout] Steve Rowley and said, ‘Dier’s head and shoulders above any England player in this camp. Do it now. €5million (£4.3m)’.
“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.”
Chambers, signed from Southampton in 2014, was a more expensive acquisition than his compatriot and it’s understandable that Adams would compare the defensive duo. However, reports did actually link Arsenal with a move for Dier whilst he was impressing at Sporting Lisbon in the same year, though their interest wasn’t high enough to warrant making a bid before north London rivals Tottenham quickly snatched him up.
Given the fact that Chambers is a year younger than Dier, it’s not particularly surprising that Arsenal made their move for the former Saints man.
His loan spell at Middlesbrough was a successful one this past season despite their relegation back into the Championship.
Now though, Adams’ comments will spark scrutiny and pressure on the 22-year-old to fulfil his potential at the Emirates in the long-term.
After all, he cost just over £10m more in comparison to Dier, who has already established himself as a first-team regular in an ever-improving Tottenham side over the past two years.