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Dier credits Conte for best form of career ahead of possible England return

Dier is under consideration to return to Gareth Southgate’s squad for the Nations League matches against Italy and Germany — England’s final camp before the World Cup — after being a surprise omission for the games in June.

The Tottenham centre-back has not played for his country since the 4-0 win over Iceland in November 2020 but he was included in a squad 18 months ago and Southgate is understood to have been in touch with him in the interim.

The England manager has concerns at the back, with Harry Maguire and Tyrone Mings having lost their places at Manchester United and Aston Villa, respectively, at the start of this season.

Eric Dier has been tipped to return to the England squad.

/ REUTERS

Asked about his hopes of returning to the squad, Dier told Standard Sport: “I just have to play as well as I can for Tottenham. That’s the only thing in my control. All I can control is what is in my control — and that is to keep getting better game by game.

“Not just now but for the last six months or so since the last manager came here, I’ve been playing as well as I have done. Since he [Conte] arrived I have improved a lot and have worked hard to try to improve as much as possible and I feel very good.

“The most important thing over the summer was that we had a pre-season to work with the manager, which we had not had before. We were able to work physically and tactically, which made a big difference.”

Spurs return to the Champions League for the first time since March 2020 on Wednesday night, when they host Marseille in their opening group game.

“It is really exciting for us to be back,” said Dier, who helped Spurs to a 2-1 derby win over Fulham on Saturday.

“When you are a club like we are, with a stadium like ours, you want to have Champions League nights there. So, we are really excited for the campaign to start on Wednesday and really looking forward to it. I am sure it is going to be a fantastic atmosphere.

“We have [the squad to cope now]. We have definitely improved in that way and the difference is proven players — Ivan [Perisic], Richy [Richarlison], Biss [Yves Bissouma] — players that have played in the Premier League and their countries. Big players.”

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