‘People thought it was strange’ – Departed Spurs man explains summer exit 

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Toby Alderweireld
Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images

Toby Alderweireld has explained the reasons behind his decision to swap Tottenham Hotspur for Qatari side Al-Duhail in the summer.

Alderweireld’s six-year spell at the North London club came to an end this summer when the central defender completed his move to Qatar.

The Belgian international was a crucial part of the club’s rise under Mauricio Pochettino, helping the Lilywhites to reach new heights in the Premier League and finish as the runners up in the Champions League in 2019.

While the centre-back had shown signs of decline in his last year or two at Tottenham, some may have been confused by the defender’s decision to leave European football given that he was just 32 years of age.

However, Alderweireld, who continues to be a vital part of Roberto Martinez’s Belgian side, insisted that he is fully committed to giving his all for Al-Duhail. 

The defender told HLN: “The club has paid a transfer fee for me and doesn’t pay my wages to tell me to lie on the beach.

“In the morning I train for myself and in the evening with the club because I want to stay as fit as possible. 

“I still have two-and-a-half years of contract left and I respect that. I’m happy.”

Alderweireld admitted that the increased amount of time he gets to spend with his family was one of the motivating factors in moving to Qatar.

When asked if he could return to Europe in the future, the defender responded: “Never say never but the chance I’ll go to a top European club isn’t nil – but very small. 

“People thought it was strange I went to Qatar but I can take my children to school and pick them up. That’s a luxury I’ve never had before.”

Spurs Web Opinion 

Fans are quick to judge players who go to China or Qatar but the reality is that footballers are human beings too and many of them have young families they want to dedicate time to. In addition, they only have a little over a decade at the top level and it makes sense for them to prioritise their financial security. 

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