Toby or not Toby that is the question. The seemingly never ending contract saga is beginning to resemble a drama even the Baird himself would be proud to have written.
Toby is without doubt one of the best centre backs in world football. His partnership with Jan Vertonghen is probably the best their is and the duo have an almost telepathic understanding of each other’s games. Like Sheringham and Klinsmann or King and Dawson it just works in arguable faultless harmony.
However Alderweireld’s contract situation just rumbles on, with three scenarios being the main players in the ongoing soap opera. Firstly if rumours are to be believed he’s been offered roughly £120k a week give or take plus add ons/bonus that if met would see him net around £150k a week, but over the course of the season.
Secondly Toby is contracted until the end of next season but Spurs have the option to extend that by an extra year but in doing so would trigger a £25m release clause that would see him leave for that paltry sum, paltry by today’s standards anyway.
And thirdly Alderweireld supposedly wants closer to what Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk is getting following his move from Southampton with the Dutch centre half earning around £180k a week at Anfield.
The longer this goes on the less likely this will be resolved, or certainly in the way most of the Tottenham faithful would desire and thus Spurs hand may be forced. Do they cash in on him this summer,? his stock will be high especially in World Cup year and the club supposedly might get in the region of £40-£45m for the centre back,and could perhaps starting a bidding war between interested party’s.
A mine-field of ifs,buts and maybes, but personally I firmly believe that Toby has made up his mind to leave, and probably did last summer. And to be honest I’m in the camp that if he wants to leave then let him, and it would make no sense not selling him this summer and getting maximum value from him. And before you curse me to within an inch of my life let me explain why I think the “just pay him what he wants” though has it’s merits, is basically wrong. We’ve seen different figures getting thrown about, and most say that he’s on £50,000 now and wants a deal worth £150,000 plus. For me, and I really don’t care whom he is ,to look for three times the salary on a contract you only signed two years ago is ludicrous.
Perhaps I’d agree with him if we’d won something in that time or he’d been with us longer, but we have essentially failed on that front. As a collective group, a team, they have achieved but ultimately they fell short when it mattered. The Leicester season was a huge opportunity lost.Now you reward Toby with a 300% pay rise you will have to do it to the rest, otherwise its basic favouritism and I feel it would alienate a lot of players. And what happens if we start winning things do you reward again and again, they’d certainly look for it for sure.
Allegedly there are many upset players within the Manchester United dressing room at Alexis Sanchez and his salary. For one player is it worth it? Yes he adds something but is it worth upsetting general dressing room harmony? Nope not for me.
I actually feel Toby is now also playing a clever game, or at least his representatives are. All of a sudden there are more frequent social media posts from his accounts either wishing the team well or congratulating after victory. Coincidence? I don’t think so.For me that is designed to keep Spurs fans on-side, that he somehow has the club in his “heart”. Horse-manure in my humble opinion, if he did he’d have signed a perfectly reasonable offer by now but he’s chasing the pound signs. In reality you can’t really judge him on it, five or six good years left maybe less, and he has to retire so this is his last opportunity for a huge payday and If he can’t get it at Spurs he’ll go elsewhere.
I do completely understand the clubs stance on this, apart from the issue of possible dressing room disharmony, Toby is 29, he’s had his fair share of injuries since he’s been at the club, missing the best part of two months last season and three this season. Davison Sanchez, though not the finished article, has had an excellent first season under his belt and will only improve. Juan Foyth has also settled in well too and Pochettino is supposedly a big fan of his compatriot too, and he’s certainly got potential. Yes any team would miss someone of Toby’s calibre but i don’t believe it will be as costly as we may have thought. I actually think Jan Vertonghen is the better all round player, his leadership qualities for me are far superior and if anyone should be rewarded with a new deal it’s him.
People will again point and say “oh same old Spurs can’t keep their players, Levy is a tightwad” etc etc etc. But the Spurs of 2017/18 are a completely different prospect across the board than the Spurs say of the summer that Bale was sold. We had two or three world beaters (Bale, VDV, Modric) in the Redknapp years but the rest of those squads were made up of mainly bang average players. Toby has been out, Sanchez has been immense. Kane has missed three and we are still scoring goals.
There is a huge mis-conception that the big teams don’t sell their best players, it is wrong, Liverpool lost (Coutinho), and others have let big names go, namely Chelsea(Costa), Manchester United(Ibra), Arsenal (Sanchez) and so on. Yes in an ideal world we would still have Walker, and Toby would be signed up but Football is not an ideal world, players & their agents are in control and ultimately if a player wants out, they go. It’s as simple as that.
In a nutshell players come and go, they always will, but football is a team game, you want players committed to the cause and not the cash, selling players does not lack ambition, having a squad of players singing from the same hymn sheet has to be the ultimate goal.
It’s an exciting time for the club as we enter a new era with a new stadium, ideally we’d love Toby to be a part of it but the club should never be beholden to demands they don’t agree with and if they have offered more than reasonable improved terms. I would be disappointed to see him leave but I’m confident we will do just fine without him. And don’t pass any remarks on his social media activity, it’s probably not even him
In conclusion I’ll refer to what club legend Graham Roberts once said: “The Crest on the front of the shirt will always be bigger than any name on the back. COYS”
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