Toby Alderweireld is an outstanding player. Composure on the ball, assured in the tackle and everything else you could possibly want from a centre back. That is why he is irreplaceable and indispensable to a team like Tottenham.
The Belgium international has been exceptional over the years, for club and for country. He was acquired from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2015 after being on loan at Southampton. The centre back immediately settled into his new home at White Hart Lane and started delivering astonishing performances.
After several seasons at the Lilywhites, he has fast become integral to the team’s success. A solid base at the heart of a growing squad that is littered with numerous quality products in every position.
However, Manchester United have been heavily linked with signing him. After all, they desperately need a new centre back and they see him as the perfect solution to their imperfections.
So why should Spurs do everything they can to keep hold of Alderweireld?
Well firstly, he is Tottenham’s best defender. Although they do have other options, he is the most important and valuable. Jan Vertonghen is, of course, an already accomplished defender and Davinson Sanchez is young and still developing in his role. There is also youngster Juan Foyth, but he is a long way off becoming a regular starter.
Yet none of the defenders Mauricio Pochettino’s side possess are as capable as Alderweireld and if he were to go, they would be considerably weaker in that area, meaning they would need to find a replacement.
Alderweireld is extremely good at his role in defence and would fit into almost any side in the world. He is great at making recovery tackles, especially when the rest of the team have pushed too high and are struggling to get back into position.
The defender is also tall and can clear the ball away from danger in his own penalty box. In addition, his awareness is second to none, as he always reads the game well and anticipates where opponents are going to try and attack from. The ability to read the game as a defender is so important in modern football, due to the pace of play.
The Belgian can also make excellent interceptions and blocks from opposition strikers. Vital assets needed in a very physical Premier League.
The 29 year-old is at his peak. He has grown as a player over the years and has so much experience, especially in the Premier League. Spurs should do whatever it takes to keep him because he is so important and at the perfect age.
There are also no other better alternatives if he were to leave. Who would Spurs sign that would be able to replace Alderweireld? There probably isn’t anyone, certainly not anyone who would be willing to leave their current club.
Another crucial factor that the Lilywhites should take into account is the chemistry he has with compatriot Vertonghen. They have played at Spurs together for quite a few seasons as well as internationally. They know each other’s game and how they play.
Knowing your partner’s strengths and weaknesses is key to a good centre back pairing and thus selling a player of his standard would be a glaring mistake. Vertonghen would have to rebuild his chemistry with a new player like Sanchez, which would take some time to do so. Please Spurs, don’t sell him.