Eric Dier says Tottenham have been missing a player like Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg as he prepares to face the “combative” midfielder in Copenhagen on Wednesday.

Hojbjerg joined Spurs from Southampton last month and will be up against his new teammates Dier and Harry Kane when England face Denmark in the Nations League qualifier. “After seeing him more closely since he arrived at Tottenham, he’s a great player,” Dier said of Hojbjerg.

“He’s going to bring a lot to the Tottenham team. He has attributes that we’ve been missing. He’s very professional, he has a fantastic attitude and work rate and I think he brings leadership qualities as well. He speaks a lot on the pitch, he pushes his teammates and he demands things from his teammates.

“In the way that he plays, he’s quite combative and aggressive and brings more fight to the midfield, which is good for us.”

Dier is expected to keep his place at centre-half for England in Denmark, where he will also be reunited with former Spurs teammate Christian Eriksen, who has struggled to make an impact at Inter Milan since leaving Spurs in a €20million deal last January.

“I speak to him quite often,” Dier said of Eriksen in an interview with Danish TV. “From what he’s told me, he’s really happy in Italy and settled really well. Looking from the outside and it’s difficult to move team and country, especially in the circumstances around the virus. He’s a fantastic player with so much quality but it’s normal sometimes you go through a period of transition at a different team, especially in a different country.”

Saturday’s win over Iceland was Dier’s first England appearance since last year’s Nations League third-place playoff and he says the aim is to go one better this season.

“It would be a great milestone for us,” he said. “That’s our ambition – to try to win with the national team. Getting to the semi-final of the World Cup and Nations League, we want to try to get one step further, get to finals and start winning competitions. The Nations League would be a great start to that, it’s obviously going to be very difficult with Iceland, Denmark and Belgium [in our group].”

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