Alderweireld’s World Cup warning


Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez has warned Toby Alderweireld he needs regular game time at Tottenham ahead of the World Cup.

Toby played the full 90 minutes in Belgium’s 4-0 friendly win over Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, and it was only his third match since suffering a hamstring injury against Real Madrid on November 1st

The 29-year-old did declare himself fit in late January, and subsequently played two FA Cup ties before a further setback on his hamstring.

Mauricio Pochettino had previously stated that he is trying to protect the centre-back’s career by holding him in reserve. However Alderweireld’s contract situation is adding to speculation which has thus added to the confusion around the centre-backs future.

Davinson Sanchez and Jan Vertonghen have been Pochettino’s centre back pairing recently and have struck up a formidable partnership and former Everton coach Martinez has warned Alderweireld that what seemed a certain spot in the Belgian side may not be as secure.

“Every player needs to get a really good period of football now,” :Martinez said. “Seven weeks is not a lot of time. Certain players that play a lot of minutes, the playing time now is not essential.

He added: “But [for] other players who have not played that much – and Toby can be one of those – it is important.But what you see with Toby is that urgency and the defensive, natural habit of intercepting any threat around him.

Martinez also added: “I saw him really sharp during the camp and [against Saudi Arabia] it was great to see that he was really strong in the last 15 minutes physically. And he lasted 90 minutes in a really good way.”

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