Tottenham have confirmed the signature of 20 year old defender Eric Dier, though things could have been very different had bitter rivals Arsenal followed the recommendations of Tony Adams.
This time last year, Arsenal were reeling from their battering at home against Aston Villa and fans were dismayed when it appeared they were after attacking midfielder Mesut Ozil and not a defender.
Speaking to talkSport, Adams said:
“The problem with Arsenal in recent years is they have been too open. They are very susceptible to the counter attack.
“Since Gilberto went, that screen has been missing. The balance is all wrong. They are too gung-ho, the full-backs bomb forward and there is no security. That’s the big problem.
“They need to find the player – either in the system or go out and buy him – to go into that holding midfield role. They need someone in there who can break up play when they throw everyone forward.”
“Arsenal will always score goals,” he added. “They can score goals from all the pitch. There is no problem going forward.
“They have enough offensive players. They just need someone to lock it up when it breaks down.
“I can understand the frustration of the fans. They've seen a lot of top players go out of the door in recent years and you can’t win anything without the best players, and too many have gone.
“They need to be looking for the next best Gilberto. There's a kid at Sporting Lisbon, Eric Dier, who's English, he's 19, maybe he could fill the gap? He certainly wouldn't cost £30m or £50m. So can Arsene [Wenger] unearth another one? That’s what I’d be looking for.”