Eric Dier admits to having mulled over a move away from Tottenham before earning the trust of Jose Mourinho, a new contract and a settled position at centre-half.
There was, however, a stage when the England international was readying himself for a move elsewhere.
Dier was reluctant to remain a bit-part player in the final year of his previous deal, with a regular role proving hard to come by following Mourinho’s arrival.
On the big future call he faced, Dier told the Daily Mail: “That leaving was definitely on my mind. I didn’t feel like I was achieving what I wanted.
“When your contract starts to come to an end, you question if you’re part of the future.
“I had no desire to be at a club in the last year of my contract. The club knew the summer would see a decision made either way.”
Dier hit a personal low last season when he was hauled off in a Champions League clash with Olympiakos after 29 minutes.
He admits that outing was “one of the toughest moments in my professional life”, adding on his situation at that stage: “The manager was completely right to take me off. I wasn’t performing. And we won the game.
“But having to take steps back from the commitment I had made to my new position at that time was very difficult for me.
“I had playedMauricio Pochettino’s last two games at centre-back, so it was difficult to go back to playing in midfield again.
“I explained that to Mourinho. I said to him: ‘This is where I want to play. In defence’. But I knew it was a risk.”
Mourinho eventually came round to the idea of using Dier as a centre-half, with a versatile operator now feeling settled and happy again in his current surroundings.
Dier said: “After Chelsea he came to me. He just said: ‘Ok if you want to play centre-back, now is your chance. Show me’.
“I thrived off that challenge. It was what I had wanted to hear. It was an opportunity.
“My main focus is always to be in a position competing to play. Feeling there’s a plan in place for me is important, too.
“They were the major factors in me deciding to stay here and I couldn’t be happier.”
Source : goal.com