Alderweireld wants White Hart Lane: would Spurs suit centre half?
Sought-after Atletico Madrid centre back Toby Alderweireld has increased speculation surrounding his future, by speaking of a potential switch to Tottenham (16/1 with Coral for a top four finish) to play alongside compatriot Jan Vertonghen.
The Belgian international told media: “I would like to play with Vertonghen again. But a transfer will be arranged later, not now.
“Atletico will decide my future, but I would like to stay in the Premier League. That some of the big clubs show interest proves I’m doing well.”
Currently on loan with top four hopefuls and surprise package Southampton, adaptable Alderweireld has excelled as coach Ronald Koeman’s pupil in a sturdy Saints backline.
It seems that with Spurs supposedly interested, and Manchester City another mooted destination, the south coast club’s hopes of holding on to their loan star are fading.
Should former Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino pluck Alderweireld from Koeman’s clutches, would the talented defender fit in to life at White Hart Lane?
Tottenham appear to be more than covered in the centre half department, especially after reports suggested Spurs had agreed a £4.3m fee for Cologne prospect Kevin Wimmer.
If 22-year-old Wimmer and Alderweireld both eventually arrive at White Hart Lane in summer, they would be competing with the likes of Vertonghen, Eric Dier, Younes Kaboul, Federico Fazio and Vlad Chiriches.
Tottenham appear, however, to have targeted their rearguard for reconstruction once the transfer window reopens, and several of their established stars could be shipped out to make space for new recruits.
Spurs have conceded 45 times in 30 league games this campaign and, with Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen providing goals and guile galore up front, it is Tottenham’s defensive deficiencies that could see the club miss out on a Champions League spot.
A senior paring of Alderweireld and Vertonghen, who have been partners previously for Belgium and Ajax, with Wimmer and Dier as promising understudies, would certainly toughen Tottenham up.
The duo, having both been schooled in the art of beginning attacks from the back at Ajax’s academy, would fit perfectly together at the heat of a team Pochettino demands focus on possession, passing and pressing.
Alderweireld may lack the adventure of Vertonghen, but is much more composed and calculated when springing attacks, making them a potentially well-balanced pair, able to help build from the back and take pressure off Pochettino’s midfield.
Pairing former clubmates Alderweireld and Vertonghen, who are equally adept on the ball and already familiar with each other’s flaws, could prove to be a masterstroke.
However, Southampton (8/1 for a top four finish), who are rumoured to have a £6.8m option to buy the Belgian, and parent club Atletico, may yet have something to say about Spurs’ supposed plans.