It’s done! Tottenham signed their new Belgian addition, Tobias Albertine Maurits “Toby” Alderweireld, aged 26 after a legal battle involving the player’s current club Atletico Madrid, his former one Southampton and his future destination, North London’s Tottenham Hotspur. This “Happy Ending” left a sour taste in Southampton, but that’s modern football’s business, a mix of lawyers, agents, the player’s family, pundits and promises of every kind.
Apparently Tottenham’s faithful are quite satisfied to have another Belgian to form with Jan Vertonghen, Moussa Dembelé and Nacer Chadli The Magnificent Four, but who is this newcomer and will he help his team to provide at last a reliable defense?
Toby is a big lad, 1.87m( 6 ft, 2 in) and he plays mainly as a central defender, but he can also play as a right back. This could be good news for the North Londoners, for Toby and Jan are first choice central-back in Belgium’s starting eleven (47 Caps).
The brand new Spur was born in Antwerp, Belgium and moved to Ajax Youth Academy in August 2004. On February 2007 he signed his first professional contract and three years later formed a formidable partnership with the club’s skipper, Jan Vertongen, but after the 2012/13 season he joined Atletico Madrid, on a four-year contract(7 M Euros, estimated fee).
The young defender was loaned to Premier League’s Southampton , with an option for the club to buy the player at the end of the season, but as the English club didn’t give any sign, the Spanish giants cancelled the clause, in order to sell their Belgian to the highest bidder; Tottenham won the bid ( 16 M Euros, estimated transfer fee), but was this fuss worth it, or not ?
These last seasons, the fans and the White Hart Lane goers, are very unhappy with their line of defenders; there are several nicknames for their lack of “grinta“ but the most hilarious is “the Marx Brothers” ! Just watch Hugo Lloris’ face when he picks up the ball from the net, it’s telling a lot !
Alderweireld’s qualities could help Tottenham improve and the player’s PL experience could put him very quickly in Pochettino’s team sheet, alongside with his countryman, Vertonghen and some of last’s season signings as Federico Fazio, Eric Dier, Davies(?) and this summer’s Kevin Wimmer.
While Tottenham conceded 53 goals in 38 league games, Southampton conceded only 33, one more than PL Champions Chelsea. The Belgian international is a good ball-playing center-back, strong in the air and in tackle. He’s also versatile enough to play as a right-back and able to cover his teammates as defensive midfielder.
On paper, the 26-year old could be a perfect fit and a real asset to the team, but after all these deceptions by players who should push the club into the Big Four some caution should and would be necessary.