Peter Crouch has claimed that Toby Alderweireld has not been the same since Jan Vertonghen left Tottenham Hotspur last summer.
Vertonghen left Spurs on a free transfer after his contract with the North London club ran out and penned a three-year deal with Benfica during last summer’s transfer window.
Joe Rodon has been the only central defender that Spurs have recruited since Vertonghen departed and the team have been found wanting in the position this season.
Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez and Toby Alderweireld have been guilty of some poor mistakes at the back in recent weeks, with Jose Mourinho struggling to settle on his first-choice pairing in central defence.
Crouch hinted that Alderweireld’s decline could be partly down to the departure of his Belgian international teammate, who he has also played alongside for many years at club level with both Ajax and Spurs.
He admitted that Tottenham’s backline have not had the defensive solidity that one usually associates with Mourinho’s teams.
The former Spurs striker told BT SPORT (as relayed by HITC): “I think there has been issues. I don’t think the goalkeeper has been playing particularly well, he’s been suffering with a lack of confidence.
“I think Dier and potentially Alderwiereld as well are suffering with a lack of confidence.
“I don’t think Alderweireld’s been the same player since Vertonghen’s left, for whatever reason.
“We all know how Mourinho likes to set up and that’s with a strong defensive unit, but unfortunately there’s been too many individual errors back there.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Alderweireld has been on the decline for two years now and mistakes had started to creep into his game long before Vertonghen left. Our biggest mistake in the summer was not paying the few million more that Inter demanded for Skriniar at the time. Our fortunes might have been a lot different had we landed the Slovakian.
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