181216 Eric Dier
Eric Dier Image Credit: AP

London: Eric Dier has had surgery to remove his appendix and has been ruled out of action until the new year.

The Tottenham midfielder came off the bench against Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday but missed Saturday’s win over Burnley after contacting the club’s medical staff with acute abdominal pain, later diagnosed as appendicitis.

Spurs said: “He will now undergo a period of recovery before commencing rehabilitation and it is expected he will return to training with the squad in January. Along with our medical staff, we wish to thank the NHS for their excellent treatment of Eric.”

Dier was replaced by Oliver Skipp on Saturday and the Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has backed the young player after his first senior start in the 1-0 win. The 18-year-old, who made his Premier League debut against Southampton as a substitute 10 days ago, was thrown into the starting line-up after Dier was ruled out.

On his display, the Spurs manager said: “Fantastic, fantastic, I think he played like a 30-year-old man. So relaxed, trying to play forward and trying to give the team what the team needs, plenty of energy, full energy, I am so proud of him.

“I think everyone is proud of him. He is only 18-years-old and I think it was fantastic. Now I think it is going to be easy for him because always the debut you are nervous. I remember when it was my first game and I said to him, ‘You look so relaxed. When I was 17, going to play I was so nervous’.

“I said, ‘That is the difference between a player going to be a top player and a player who was going to be normal player like me’.”

Skipp is the 13th player to have come through the academy used by Pochettino in his four-year spell and with Spurs unable to match the spending of their top-four rivals, their youth system is a vital source.

“We are so happy,” Pochettino added. “I want to congratulate the people in the academy, John [McDermott, academy head], Dean [Rastrick, academy manager] and the coaches and staff who work in education. I think to build his career with him and to help him to build his career is fantastic.”