It looks increasingly likely that Tottenham Hotspur will be losing their central defender Toby Alderweireld in the summer.
Just 18 months ago such an eventuality seems improbable. Scratch that, it looked impossible. Spurs were desperately trying to convince him to sign a new deal and the general consensus was that Alderweireld was the best centre-back in the Premier League.
Since then, things have changed. The Belgian has been continuously battling injury and Tottenham can no longer rely on him to be fit for crucial fixtures in the schedule.
Tottenham also broke their transfer record in the summer. Colombian centre-back Davinson Sanchez arrived from Ajax. He has proven to be a more than adequate replacement for the Belgium international.
Alderweireld’s wage demands are far beyond what Tottenham are willing to pay. Considering he has just turned 29-years-old Spurs chairman Daniel Levy will not be sanctioning such high wages for a player fast-approaching his footballing twilight years.
All these reasons mount up to one inevitable conclusion – Tottenham will likely sell Alderweireld in the summer?
Plenty of teams have recently been linked with the player. Manchester United need to strengthen the centre-back position. Arsenal would love to make a shock swoop and bring him in. The struggles of Gary Cahill and Antonio Rudiger at Chelsea surely make him a Blues target. Liverpool still need strengthening at the back. Pretty much any of the top six in England would bite Tottenham’s hand off to bring Alderweireld in.
Spurs must capitalise on Barcelona’s interest?
Barcelona are said to be interested in his signature, according to the Independent. Tottenham must seriously consider pushing him toward the Nou Camp.
Spurs would be taking a massive risk if they allowed Alderweireld the chance to thrive with one of their direct Premier League rivals next season. Injury worries aside, the 29-year-old remains one of the best defenders in the world when fully fit. It seems he no longer fits into Tottenham’s wage structure and cashing in now looks a sensible decision, whilst his market value remains high.
Yet it would be embarrassing for the club if he went on to become a Premier League mainstay elsewhere and become a block in Tottenham’s battle for the title in the future.
Barcelona could go on to thrive with Alderweireld at the back, but at least Spurs won’t be competing with them for results on a weekly basis.
Even if it means selling at a slightly lower price, Tottenham must ensure Alderweireld does not join a Premier League rival in the summer.