Antonio Conte’s comments on Leonardo Bonucci and Eric Dier came far too soon, insists talkSPORT host Tony Cascarino.
The Tottenham boss has named the Juventus and Italy legend as an ‘example’ Dier could aspire to following his England recall.
After becoming a key player for Spurs and the Three Lions, Dier has suffered a bit of a career dip in recent years, only for Conte to rebuild him.
The 28-year-old has played every minute for Spurs this season in their eight games so far, even scoring in an opening matchday win against Southampton.
Conte is clearly a big fan of the former midfielder-turned-centre-back, mentioning him in the same breath as one of his stalwarts at his previous side Juventus.
Bonucci worked with Conte both at Juventus and in Italy between 2012 and 2016, winning three league titles after making a similar switch to Dier from midfield to defence.
Speaking recently about Dier, the Italian manager said: “With the ball, Bonucci can be a good example for Eric Dier.
“Bonucci has done a lot with his career that Eric can replicate. He has to continue the way he is playing right now, I will be very angry if he doesn’t.
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talkSPORT host Cascarino was surprised to hear Conte go so far so soon using such a high benchmark, with the season still in its early stages.
“He had a good start to the season but comparing him to Bonucci is a bit long for me at the moment, I would hold back for that one,” he said.
“I wouldn’t have wanted him to be as versatile as Bonucci, maybe he was a failed midfielder more than a midfielder, he didn’t uproot trees.
“I think he’s not bad, I’m still reserved in my opinion on the course of a season on Dier.
“It’s a bit like Tottenham themselves, you judge Tottenham if they can claim the title, they have a lot of good players, they’ve been really good.
“He shone in September and August and I don’t know how good he will be over the course of a season.”
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