‘I could hardly refuse’ – Defender explains why he left Spurs this summer

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Image: @snapshotspurs

Toby Alderweireld has explained some of the motives behind his decision to look to leave Tottenham Hotspur this summer.

The 32-year-old left North London in late July after six years at the club, joining the Qatari side Al-Duhai, having had had two years left on his contract with the Premier League side.

Alderweireld was relatively upfront with his decison, having admitted that the lure of a better financial package and a family-based reason helped him to make the move to the Middle East.

The central defender admitted that he would be able to spend more of his children while playing for Al-Duhai, compared to his time at Tottenham where he would become frustrated at how much time he had to be away from his loved ones.

The Belgium international made 236 appearances for Spurs in all competitions after joining from Atlético Madrid in 2015 and was an integral part of the side that mounted back-to-back Premier League title challenges and reached the Champions League final under Mauricio Pochettino.

“Well, I could hardly refuse this adventure. Also financially, of course, I will not be silly about that,” he told Het Laatste Nieuws.

“I have two children and at Tottenham I saw them very little. That hurt more and more. In Qatar I will see them more and that is very important to me. I want to see my children grow up and that can be done much better at my current club.

“At Tottenham it frustrated me that I had to leave my family behind too often, sometimes we played three times a week, with a seclusion before each time. That started to wring more and more.”

SpursWeb Opinion

Alderweireld was a brilliant servant to Tottenham and forged a formidable partnership with Jan Vertonghen during the peak of his powers.

It is refreshing to hear a player say that they wanted to leave because not only was there a better financial package on offer, but he also wanted to spend more time with his family – which is a side to a footballer that we aren’t often exposed to.

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