Saturday, January 28, 2023

Tottenham Hotspur Defender Set For A Shock Move To Middle East: Big Blow For Nuno?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to Het Laatste Nieuws journalist Kristof Terreur, Toby Alderweireld is on the verge of a Tottenham exit. The experienced defender has asked Spurs to leave the club, with the Lilywhites receiving a bid from Qatari club Al-Duhail. Although they were holding out for €15 million, it appears the bid has been accepted, as Alderweireld is expected to land in Doha later today.

Toby Alderweireld’s Steady Decline In Recent Years

Once revered as one of Europe’s finest, Toby Alderweireld has had a difficult couple of years at Tottenham Hotspur. His troubles began during the start of the 2019/20 season, being a part of a Spurs side that endured a horrendous start to the campaign. It led to the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino, with Alderweireld not being able to recover since.

Throughout the past two seasons, the veteran defender has struggled with injuries and lack of form. Although it hasn’t drastically affected the centre-back’s game-time, his importance in the first-team has greatly diminished, especially under the leadership of Jose Mourinho.

It is also perhaps fair to point out the impact Jan Vertonghen’s departure has had on the performances of Alderweireld. The two were one of the best defensive duos in Europe, but Vertonghen’s sale left his Belgian counterpart devoid of a proper partner at the heart of the Spurs backline.

Toby Alderweireld is on the verge of a Tottenham exit - He is Spurs' most experienced defender.
TOBY ALDERWEIRELD, Belgio, UEFA EURO, EM, Europameisterschaft,Fussball 2020, Quarter Final, Belgium vs Italy 1-2, Munich EURO 2020 QUARTI DI FINALE BELGIO-ITALIA 1-2

A Big Blow For Tottenham?

The potential departure of Toby Alderweireld is not surprising given the struggles he has had in recent years. The veteran is clearly a misfit in the current Spurs setup, becoming a stumbling block for the club as they look to steer themselves through this transition period.

From a tactical perspective, Alderweireld is Tottenham’s most technically astute centre-back. He might have been useful for new coach Nuno Espirito Santo, who himself is known for his defence-oriented, disciplinary style of play.

However, the potential departure of the Belgian international should pave the way for Tottenham to bring in new faces in the summer. They have already been linked with a number of options across Europe, all of who are more than capable of filling in for him for the long-term.

That said, it will be a challenge for Tottenham to fill the experience Alderweireld brought into the camp. As such, the club may pursue a slightly more experienced player this summer, as they do indeed require a leader at the back.

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