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England coach Southgate: Tottenham defender Dier not strong enough this season

England coach Gareth Southgate says axing Tottenham defender Eric Dier was a "difficult" call.

Dier has been a regular since Southgate was appointed as England manager and shone for him at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The centre-back, however, has endured a difficult season with Spurs and he was left out of England's 33-man provisional squad for this summer's Euros, which was named on Tuesday.

Asked if it was a difficult conversation with Dier, Southgate said: “Yes, definitely.

“He is a man who I have tremendous respect for and he has been, as you've rightly identified, a key player in some of our biggest nights, some of our biggest moments.

“Unfortunately I just don't think his season has been strong enough to be in the squad.

"And that's a difficult call because I know how much he brings to the whole group, and when you're away at a tournament, those team players, those people that put the team first, are critical.

“So that wasn't an easy conversation. But he's an outstanding professional and he took the news in a really professional way."

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