‘Lynchpin’ – Mabbutt believes 32-year-old Spurs star should start every game

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Gary Mabbutt believes that Toby Alderweireld should start every single game for Tottenham and should be treated as the defensive linchpin of the side.

Tottenham’s defence has been extremely leaky over the last few months, with some poor individual errors costing the side plenty of points.

As a result, Jose Mourinho has been forced to chop and change his centre-back pairing but the Spurs boss now seems to have settled on Alderweiereld and Davinson Sanchez as his first-choices, with Eric Dier now finding himself falling down the pecking order.

Alderweireld and Sanchez have started Tottenham’s last three Premier Leauge games in a row, with the North Londoners winning all three, conceding just one goal in the process.

Mabbut believes, irrespective of who starts alongside Alderweiereld, the Belgian should be a mainstay in the side.

The legendary Spurs defender insisted that the 32-year-old has proven over the course of his Tottenham career that he can be a leader at the back.

Mabbutt told Football Fancast: “He was one of the top defenders in the Premier League over a number of seasons.

“For me, again, it’s all about managers seeing everything, but what he has achieved during his time at Spurs over the years, Toby Alderweireld should be the lynchpin of our defence.

“With the experience he’s got, the knowledge he’s got, he should be the one.

“Whether he’s got Sergio (Reguilon) to his left and or Matt (Doherty) to his right, or Sanchez, or Eric or Joe Rodon, whoever alongside him, he should be your lynchpin that controls that area.

“He’s got Pierre (Emile Hojbjerg) in front of him, with Hugo (Lloris) behind you, those six are basically the crux of whether the team will be a success. If you stop conceding soft goals, stop giving goals away, stop giving opponents the opportunities, then that is what it’s all about.

“Now, to have a player like Toby in there who you can make the lynchpin, make him dictate that area, he controls his defence. Give him that responsibility, give him that privilege of being able to be the one to actually control that in there.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Alderweireld is clearly not the player he was two or three years ago but the Belgian has proven over the course of the season that he is still our most reliable defender. However, given his age and his contract situation, I would not be surprised if he is sold in the summer ahead of both Dier and Sanchez.

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