England begin their UEFA Nations League campaign on Saturday evening with an away game against Hungary. It is the first of four matches in the space of ten days, with Germany, Italy and the reverse fixture at home to their first opponents coming up before the players head off on a well-earned summer break.
Harry Kane, as ever, will be there to captain to the team but he won’t be joined on this international break by his Tottenham colleague Eric Dier despite some towering performances under Antonio Conte. Last involved in a Three Lions squad in March 2021, the Spurs man has unfortunately missed out on England duty over the past 15 months.
In that time players such as Arsenal’s Ben White and Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi have come into Gareth Southgate’s thinking ahead of Dier. A shock omission from the squad for Tottenham fans given his brilliant form for the Lilywhites, the 28-year-old has limited time remaining to change the manager’s thinking with the World Cup in Qatar starting in November.
Before then, however, the England team will convene for another camp in September, one Dier will very much be hoping to be part of. Speaking to the media ahead of the Hungary game, Kane opened up on his teammate’s absence from the squad and outlined the importance of a summer break and starting next season strongly.
“I’m really close with Eric, he’s a fantastic player, he’s had a really good season, probably the best season he’s had in terms of being consistent over a long period of time, staying fit and healthy,” explained Kane. “He really fitted into Antonio’s system really well and put in some great performances.
“He was a big reason we got Champions League football [next season], but obviously the squad selection is always down to the manager and it is his decision. I’m sure Eric’s knocking on the door, close to getting that call-up again.
“All he has to do is keep working hard, keep doing what he is doing. He has a chance now to recover and rest over the summer and hopefully come back firing at the start of next season. There’s another camp in September and then the World Cup so I’m sure he’ll have one eye on that to try to impress the manager.”