Tony Adams has revealed he told Arsenal to sign Eric Dier for £5million in 2012… but they opted for £17m flop Calum Chambers instead.
The Granada boss, 50, revealed he was working with Dier at the England Under-19s that year and could see he was “head and shoulders” above the rest of the squad.
However, Arsenal rejected his suggestion, instead bringing Chambers in from Southampton for over three times the fee.
Adams told The Times: “I recommended Eric Dier to Arsenal.
“I did the England Under-19s with Blakey [Noel Blake] in 2012, and phoned [Arsenal scout] Steve Rowley and said, ‘Dier’s head and shoulders above any English player in this camp.
“‘Do it now. £5million.’
“I knew the get-out clause at Sporting. Steve said that Arsenal’s Portuguese scout said he was a bit one-paced. So Arsenal didn’t.
“They did get Calum Chambers for £17m — no disrespect to Calum.
“Spurs got Dier, pushed him into midfield, maybe he hasn’t got the aggression, but in the modern game now, you don’t need to be aggressive so he’ll probably end up the perfect central defender.”
Former Arsenal centre-back Adams also tore into Arsene Wenger, saying he just can’t let go of the club and has no life anymore.
He added: “Arsene’s a great coach but not as good as Don Howe.
“Sir Alex Ferguson was definitely a better motivator, better delegator, and communicator.
“I feel sorry for Arsene. He can’t let go of Arsenal. He hasn’t got a life.
“I know Gerard Houllier said to him after the FA Cup final in 2015, ‘Arsene, let it go, call it a day.’
“Arsene’s such a great human being, and for it all to crumble away around him, and with the abuse he’s getting.
“It’s so sad to see the most successful Arsenal manager of all time being treated this way.
“I got out at the top and people still love me at Arsenal because of that, and I’d hate them to hate Arsene for killing the club over the next two years if he holds on too long.
“I feel a lot of love for him.”