Since Toby Alderweireld picked up a hamstring injury against Real Madrid in November, speculations have risen about his future with Tottenham Hotspur. Reasons for the speculation are twofold: his lack of game time and the collapse in wage negotiations with the club.
All Spurs fans know that Mauricio Pochettino prefers a careful and piecemeal recovery of his players back to full-fitness, he will not give them minutes if he doesn’t think they are ready. We saw this with Danny Rose and Harry Winks. He did this with Erik Lamela, who is now back to fine form.
However, Roberto Martinez, head coach of the Belgium national team has declared Toby Alderweireld fit for international duty. Martinez commented that,
“Toby Alderweireld is completely fit after a difficult rehabilitation. As far as I’m concerned, he is ready to play.”
Toby has not appeared in the Spurs first-team since the 18th February when he played the full 90 minutes against Rochdale in the F.A. Cup. Alderweireld was selected for the FA Cup match against Swansea but never made it off the bench. It seems that if Alderweireld was physically ready to return to action, he would have at least played 20 minutes or so at the end of a cup game which Spurs were comfortably winning 3-0.
— Toby Alderweireld (@AlderweireldTob) March 17, 2018
The centre-back is in full training with the Belgian squad; however, the Premier League players such as Vertonghen, De Bruyne, Hazard, and Lukaku have been put on a separate programme, taking care not to cause unduly strain at a crucial period in the Premier League season. If Toby was to appear for Belgium and then revert back to the bench under Pochettino, then surely this would all but confirm the rumours about his potential move away from North London.
📄 #REDTOGETHER 🇧🇪
Our squad list for the friendly vs @SaudiFF 🇸🇦 !
Join us ! 😉
— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) March 16, 2018
PSG join the race for Toby Alderweireld
To further add to the speculation, The Telegraph has reported this week that French giants Paris Saint-Germain have joined the race to sign Alderweireld. With a £25m release clause hanging over the head of Toby Alderweireld, it has become widely known that Manchester United and Barcelona have been paying close attention to Toby in recent months. The Telegraph goes on to explain that Tottenham Hotspur have a strong relationship with PSG as they have built links through the recent transfers of Serge Aurier and Lucas Moura.
If Spurs are to stick to their stringent wage structure and not give in to the demands of Toby Alderweireld (arguably one of the best defenders in the league on a good day) then adding more horses to the pack will only be a benefit for Daniel Levy. Obviously, if there is any sort of auction, then the price of the Belgian international will go up. Similarly, if Spurs were to offload Alderweireld, it would make more sense to sell him to a team where his prowess won’t affect Tottenham’s position, therefore Barcelona or PSG would be a better target than Man Utd.
If Toby plays well for Belgium and then returns as an ancillary to Davinson Sanchez for the rest of the Premier League season, Pochettino will be sending a green light to these clubs.