On Thursday, Tottenham Hotspur triggered the extension clause in Toby Alderweireld’s contract, extending the Belgian’s contract at Spurs until the summer of 2020.
Although the move allows teams to activate Alderweireld’s £25 million release clause at the end of the season, the extension is excellent short term news for Tottenham’s title hopes.
Without extending Alderweireld’s contract for a further season, the Belgian defender would have been able to walk away for free in May.
In addition, the prospect of losing Alderweireld for nothing at the end of the season may have prompted Spurs to sell the centre-half in January in order to get compensation for his departure.
Now that Alderweireld’s contract has been extended, Spurs are all but guaranteed to retain his services for the remainder of this season. And even if the Belgian international does leave north London before 2020, Tottenham will nevertheless receive a substantial transfer fee.
Alderweireld is enjoying an impressive renaissance at Spurs after being exiled from the first team last season. The defender has been back to his imperious self at the back, playing 17 times in the league while keeping eight clean sheets in the process.
By securing the short-term future of one of their best defenders, Tottenham Hotspur have boosted their title hopes as they set out to chase Liverpool in the second half of the season.