Tottenham are facing another contract stalemate as Toby Alderweireld is thought to be considering his future with the club.
The Telegraph report that his future has been cast in fresh doubt after he was left behind and not selected for the Champions League match against Juventus.
The Belgian international didn’t make the trip to Turin and considering he returned to first-team action last week, he is unlikely to be pleased at his omission.
Although the article speculates on the centre-back’s future, there is no evidence to suggest Alderweireld is looking for a move.
However, he is yet to agree a new deal and given the interest in him, a transfer could be on his mind.
Tottenham play a dangerous game when it comes to their contracts, as they refuse to pay what their competition is offering.
That is one key reason why they are at risk of losing their best players and speculation is taken more seriously by supporters as a result.
The Express reported last summer that Kyle Walker doubled his wages when he joined Manchester City.
Although money won’t be the main motivating factor behind a player leaving Spurs, it is certainly a factor.
Mauricio Pochettino didn’t look too worried during his pre-match press-conference, suggesting Alderweireld needed time to recover from his serious injury.
He isn’t ready for a huge game yet and the club have made the decision to leave him behind to benefit all parties long-term.
The Telegraph report the following quotes from the Argentine:
“It was a massive injury that we needed to be cautious over because we cannot put at risk his career. We designed a plan from day one to provide him the best route to recovery and be stronger than before.
“Of course, we are sorry for him because when you miss some games like Arsenal or the Champions League that we have worked a lot to try to play… I can understand.
“And we are frustrated too, because when you cannot play it is difficult to accept. The player always thinks he is fit, but it is our responsibility to take the best decision.
“He will be part of the team next Sunday against Rochdale (in the FA Cup) and, again, we are going to assess him day by day.”
There is every chance that Pochettino is being honest, but as the defender played against Newport County, it is known that he is available.
The manager has been reluctant in the past to rush players back from serious injuries.
Erik Lamela has had to accept his role as a bench player while he builds up his fitness.
Meanwhile, Danny Rose wasn’t immediately restored to the starting eleven after his time out on the sidelines.
That said, the Alderweireld’s future has been reported on and that begs the question, could Tottenham afford to lose him?
Since moving to Tottenham, Toby Alderweireld has established himself as one of the best defenders in the Premier League, if not Europe.
There won’t be a shortage of options for him if he does decide to push for an exit from the club.
However, Spurs are now in a position in which they don’t need to cave at each and every one of the defender’s demands in the talks over a new contract.
Now, they have proved they are able to cope without him.
During their last three Premier League fixtures, wins against Manchester United and Arsenal sandwich a hard-fought draw against Liverpool at Anfield.
They have taken seven points from arguably three of their hardest fixtures of the season and conceded only two goals in the process.
That is hugely impressive and the absence of Alderweireld evidently was not felt, with their opponents managing a combined 21 shots across the three matches.
Considering they were playing three of the best attacks in the Premier League, that record is incredible.
There will be many taking the view that Tottenham will be even more formidable when Alderweireld returns to the line-up, but a more controversial stance would be that the team no longer need the Belgian.
Although the club will want to keep hold of him, it has been proven that he isn’t as integral to this Tottenham team as many previously considered him to be.
The progression of Davinson Sanchez and reliability of Jan Vertonghen means that Pochettino has two other quality options, while Eric Dier is an able deputy.
Alderweireld will be back in the starting eleven soon as he has too much quality to sit on the sidelines, but he can no longer go into these contract negotiations and talk up his worth as recent evidence proves that the team can thrive without him.
The departure of Kyle Walker last summer showed that Tottenham can be ruthless with players making ultimatums and progress without them.
It would be a shame if the Belgian defender did leave at the end of the season, but Spurs could recover from it.
Keanan Bennetts has perfect opportunity to impress Mauricio Pochettino this week
The left-sided star has a chance to impress in first-team training during the international break.
With the international week in full flow, plenty of teams in the Premier League have seen their squads diminished by call-ups to national teams.
Tottenham Hotspur are one such side. Nonetheless, with most of the first-team squad away with their respective nations, work continues at Hotspur Way.
In order for Spurs to have a full complement in training, plenty of young talent needs to be pulled in to the ranks.
Mauricio Pochettino will, therefore,e get a chance to see some of his young players training with regular first-team players such as Fernando Llorente, Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura.
One player who will be training with the first-team this week is talented wide-man Keanan Bennetts, according to London Live.
The 19-year-old left-winger has been catching the eye for the club’s youth team in recent weeks, making the news after scoring a fantastic goal for the under-19s against Monaco in the UEFA Youth League last month.
Bennetts has also been attracting interest for his positional dexterity. The wide-man has played at left-back in recent times and it could be that is his future best position.
This week he will be up against some excellent players such as Lamela and Moura, who did not receive selection to the Argentina and Brazil national teams, respectively.
If he can prove himself with this calibre of player, Pochettino will have to take notice.
It is coming to a point in his Tottenham career when Bennetts has to make such an impact. The teenager is out of contract at Spurs in the summer and needs to ensure he is kept on for at least one more season.
Tottenham fans who follow the youth teams are certain he is deserving of such a chance. If he can show Pochettino what he is capable of this week, then a new deal will surely be in the pipeline for the talented wide-man.
Is Juan Foyth a ready-made replacement for Toby Alderweireld?
The Argentine youngster joined Tottenham Hotspur from Estudiantes last summer.
According to reports in Belgium this week, Tottenham Hotspur have given up hope of keeping Toby Alderweireld.
HLN has reported Spurs have accepted defeat in trying to convince the Belgian of signing a new deal after failing to agree on wages.
Therefore, Tottenham will sell the 29-year-old this summer, with £43 million the asking price.
Tottenham could be looking for a new signing in the summer to replace him, but rather than spending big on a new recruit, they should instead give a chance to someone already at the club.
The player in question is Argentine defender Juan Foyth.
Spurs brought in the young defender from Estudiantes last summer for a fee reported to be in the region of £10 million by ESPN.
His signature was heralded as a success for the London outfit after the Times had reported PSG had instead got the youngster.
Foyth has played just eight times for Tottenham this season, with none of those appearances coming in the Premier League.
But at just 20-years-old and new to English football, that was to be expected.
Mauricio Pochettino is known to be a huge fan of his countryman and Foyth has impressed in the FA Cup this season.
As a ball playing centre-half he is the type of player Tottenham want at the back to take the team into the future.
With Alderweireld gone, Tottenham will be short a defensive option.
Jan Vertonghen will be the pillar in the centre of defence, with Davinson Sanchez an impressive talent alongside him.
Eric Dier’s versatility makes him an option. Foyth would then argue the case that he is next in line and deserves a shot at establishing himself in the Tottenham first-team.
It is certainly a possibility.
Tottenham also have highly-rated American defender Cameron Carter-Vickers out on loan at Ipswich Town, who could take Foyth’s place as fifth-in-line, if Tottenham give the Argentine his chance.
The likelihood is that Spurs will bring in a new recruit to replace Alderweireld. Perhaps a player with more experience will instead be pursued.
Foyth has not yet proved himself in the Premier League, so laying it on the line for him next season would be a massive risk by Pochettino and Tottenham.
But there is certainly a chance that the £10 million youngster could take Alderweireld’s place next season.
Clement Lenglet is the perfect replacement for Toby Alderweireld
The French defender has been in fine form for Sevilla.
When Manchester United were dumped out of the Champions League by Sevilla last week, plenty of the La Liga side’s players put in heroic displays.
Wissam Ben Yedder, the goalscorer of both Sevilla’s goals on the night received the highest praise. However, it was defender Clement Lenglet who deserved the biggest plaudits.
The 22-year-old did a wonderful job of shackling Romelu Lukaku for most of the game, putting in a brave and assured performance at centre-back.
It was a display that undoubtedly won him some fans, and Tottenham Hotspur should be one of them.
It looks increasingly likely that Tottenham will lose Toby Alderweireld in the summer.
HLN in Belgium reported this week that Spurs have ended contract talks with the Belgian and are prepared to sell him for £43 million.
Tottenham, therefore, have a potential gap in the centre-back position.
Lenglet is the perfect option. Not only is he good enough, as he proved by United last week, but he fits the profile of a Tottenham signing.
The Sevilla defender is just 22 years of age and has years ahead of him to develop. Then, there is his release clause.
According to a recent report from Diario AS, the Frenchman has a release clause of just €30 million (£26.2 million).
Such a fee for a player of his talent and his age would amount to daylight robbery.
Lenglet, who only joined Sevilla from Nancy last summer, would be the perfect option for Spurs to replace Alderweireld.
He could rotate with fellow young talent Davinson Sanchez playing alongside the more experienced Jan Vertonghen in defence.
With a Frenchman behind him in Hugo Lloris and French speaker in Vertonghen, he would not have to worry much about the language barrier just yet.
Strong, fast, capable on the ball and a raw talent he is exactly the sort of player Mauricio Pochettino could mould into a future Tottenham star.
Alderweireld’s exit will no doubt be a shame for Tottenham.
Nonetheless, if they can bring in Lenglet for £17 million less than they sell the Belgian for, the club will have pulled off a masterstroke.
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