Why Tottenham must hold on to Toby Alderweireld
It has been an unexpectedly quiet transfer season for Tottenham Hotspur with manager Mauricio Pochettino choosing to make the most out of the flurry of talented attackers at his disposal rather than seeking new reinforcements.
According to The Sun, the Lilywhites backed away from splashing the cash and didn’t quite table the planned bid to land Dortmund star Christian Pulisic. Crystal Palace’s Zaha (h/t Daily Star), as well as Villa’s Jack Grealish (h/t The Telegraph), were potential targets but both players eluded Pochettino’s grasp. The move to tie Erik Lamela and Heung-Min Son to new contracts was the only activity at the club.
If the non-acquisition of new recruits in the window is termed as lacklustre, then the current situation involving centre-back Toby Alderweireld is nothing short of a looming disaster. As The Express puts it down, the Belgian centre-back is wanted at the Allianz Arena as Bayern are looking for a potential replacement for Jerome Boateng should the German leave.
A brief overview of the Spurs squad clearly reveals that the Lilywhites are short of alternatives when it comes to central defence, despite the plentiful resources in the attack and the midfield that they have in their ranks. Davinson Sanchez, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld are the only potential options for Pochettino as far as the central defence is concerned.
Though Eric Dier is a more than handy makeshift centre-half, Pochettino would want him to patrol the central defensive midfield. Apart from them, youngster Cameron Carter-Vickers is the only option that Spurs have in central defence.
Well, it is not only the lack of options which Tottenham should be worried about because when it comes to someone like Toby Alderweireld, he proclaims his value by his sheer quality and standards.
A calm and composed defender, the Belgian international is very much capable of playing in a deep defensive line. Although his aerial ability is questionable and his struggle against fast and agile opposition is apparent, he makes up for it with his immaculate long balls.
Alderweireld has the ability to play precise long balls and can turn defence into attack in the blink of an eye. With Spurs having the pace of Eriksen, Son, Kane and Lamela, Alderweireld can set up quick counter-attacks.
A part of the Tottenham defensive line in the 2016/17 season that achieved the best defensive record in the club’s history, Alderweireld has been one of the kingpins of Tottenham’s backline despite several injury concerns. At 29, he is an experienced customer and Pochettino should not let him leave as he can possibly play at his peak for at least 3 more seasons.
Tottenham should look to keep him at all costs and slapping a daunting price tag will be the best way to stop his potential suitors.