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Adams was a part of England’s Under-19 set up when he spotted Dier’s talent back in 2012.
The former Gunners defender phoned Arsenal’s chief scout Steve Rowley to let him know of Dier’s immense potential and urged him to sign the player.
Dier, who progressed through the youth ranks at Sporting, had a release clause of £4.3 million (€5 million). Arsenal’s Portuguese scout wasn’t too convinced with Dier, and they chose not to pursue him.
“I recommended Eric Dier to Arsenal. 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. €5 million’,” said Adams, as quoted by The Times.
“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 £17 million — 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.”
Arsenal refused, but Tottenham took the gamble. Spurs signed Dier in 2014 for a measly fee of £4 million (BBC), and he went on to establish himself as one of the key players for his club and country.
Dier has enjoyed a brilliant 2016/17 Premier League campaign for Spurs. His impressive form has caught the attention of Manchester United who are reportedly preparing a formal move for the £40 million-rated England international.
The Telegraph reported last month that Spurs could be persuaded to sell Dier – who can play in central midfield or in central defence – if they succeed in signing Michael Keane from Burnley.