Eric Dier on the verge of an England call-up as Gareth Southgate considers him for Nations League

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Eric Dier is back on England manager Gareth Southgate’s radar almost two years after his last international cap.

Southgate has been impressed by the 28-year-old’s early-season form during Tottenham’s unbeaten start.

Eyebrows were raised at Dier’s omission from the squad for the Nations League fixtures earlier this summer, following an impressive end to the 2021-22 campaign for the defender.

But the Tottenham star is under consideration for this month’s two Nations League matches — the final ones before the World Cup.

Dier has 45 England caps but has not featured since a 4-0 win over Iceland in November 2020, although he was included in a squad 18 months ago.

His excellent form in Antonio Conte’s back three — a system England have used regularly — has brought Dier back into Southgate’s thinking. Dier’s ability to play in different positions and formations also provides England with an obvious benefit ahead of the World Cup in Qatar.

Dier was a key squad member during the 2018 World Cup campaign and his experience of tournament football is also viewed as a plus.

Southgate will name his squad for the Nations League fixtures on September 15. England face Italy on September 23, then host Germany three days later.

FIFA rules mean teams can name a 55-man long-list of players for the World Cup by October 21 — but that is unlikely to be made public.

The FIFA deadline for the final 26-man squad is November 13, with the tournament starting the following week.

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