An article in The Guardian says Toby Alderweireld will not travel to Turin on Monday for the first leg of our Champions League last‑16 tie against Juventus on Tuesday night in a move the article says that will raise questions about his future at the London club.
The big Belgian only returned from three months out with a hamstring injury in the FA Cup replay win against Newport County last Wednesday, where he played the full 90 minutes and, having declared himself fit, and he’d said in interviews he hoped to be in the lineup for the derby against Arsenal on Saturday.
However he was excluded him from the match-day squad against Arsenal and has now will be left in London to work on his fitness, rather than take him to Italy for what is arguably our biggest game of the season.
The article adds how Pochettino reacted badly when questioned after the 1-0 win against Arsenal about why he had preferred Davinson Sánchez to Alderweireld in central defence and Spurs fans will hope the Belgian is not too unhappy to be omitted against Juventus and that it will not impact on his contract talks, which have been continuing for more than a year without reaching a breakthrough.
Alderweireld’s current deal contains a one-year extension option, which is scheduled to activate in the summer of 2019 and would see him contracted until 2020. But it also features a £25m release clause.
It adds that in the summer of 2019 he would be permitted to leave if a rival club were to pay £25m and complete the transfer at least 14 days before the closure of the window.
It does however add that Pochettino has shown with several players – chief among them Danny Rose and Erik Lamela – that they must prove their full fitness following long injury lay-offs before they are reintegrated into the squad on a regular basis.
Alderweireld did make the point after the Newport game that he and the medical staff had “worked very hard so my muscles are ready for this type of game and to play a lot of games again”.
So of course speculation will be rife until we hear Pochettino’s explanation. Do you think it’s as simple as leaving Toby behind to work on his fitness or the beginning of the end? Given that he’s in the squad submitted for the rest of the champions league one would think its the former esp considering Juan Foyth was removed from the original Champions League squad. Let us know your thoughts
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