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Spurs’ Dier gets first England call-up

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Eric Dier

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Eric Dier (right) in Premier League action against Manchester United on August 8, 2015 (AFP Photo/Oli Scarff)

LONDON, November 5 -Tottenham Hotspur’s 21-year-old midfielder Eric Dier was on Thursday awarded his first senior England call-up for the friendlies against Spain and France later this month.

Signed from formative club Sporting Lisbon in 2014, the under-21 international has excelled this season after being moved from defence into central midfield by Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino.

“He’s done very well for Tottenham,” England manager Roy Hodgson told a press conference at Wembley.

“We are giving him a chance to come and see what he can do for us. He deserves his chance. He has been a key figure for Spurs and I am delighted to welcome him.”

Dier is joined in Hodgson’s squad by club-mate Dele Alli, who keeps his place, while Everton centre-back John Stones and Manchester City midfielder Fabian Delph return after spells on the sidelines.

England are currently without 13 regular squad numbers, including Phil Jagielka, Luke Shaw, Liverpool trio Daniel Sturridge, Jordan Henderson and Danny Ings and the Arsenal quartet of Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Danny Welbeck.

Tottenham winger Andros Townsend was not selected, having been dropped from Spurs’ first-team squad after a post-match clash with a fitness coach, but Hodgson said that he had already decided not to pick him.

“I’d made my selection before the incident for which he’s been punished by Tottenham,” Hodgson said.

“I’m pleased to see he’s apologised. I’m sure it’s been dealt with and both parties will move on very quickly.”

Hodgson also said that Jack Grealish would not be invited to train with England as the Aston Villa playmaker waits for his switch of allegiances from Ireland to England to be ratified by FIFA.

Meanwhile, Hodgson revealed that the Football Association was studying the possibility of staging England’s warm-up games prior to Euro 2016 at stadiums other than Wembley.

“The idea has been mooted,” he said. “It could be good to move around the country.”

England qualified for next year’s tournament in France top of their group after 10 straight wins.

They tackle European champions Spain in Alicante on November 13 before taking on France at Wembley four days later.

England squad

Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke City), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Tom Heaton (Burnley)

Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Everton), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)

Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Ross Barkley (Everton), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), James Milner (Liverpool), Jonjo Shelvey (Swansea City/WAL), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)

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