Toby Alderweireld has been a key player in Pochettino’s defensive set up ever since he joined Tottenham Hotspur from Atletico Madrid in 2015.
Since then, he has made 111 appearances for the north London club scoring five goals.
In his first season for the club, the Belgian internatianal had been recognised as one of the best defenders in the Premier League by commentators.
His central defensive partnership with national team mate Jan Vertonghen led Spurs to achieving the best defensive record in the Premier League, with only 25 goals conceded from 34 games.
At the end of the season the Lilywhites had the joint-lowest number of goals conceded (35) in the Premier League.
The 2016-17 season was even better for the defender. Despite suffering an injury against West Bromwich Albion early on in the season, Alderweireld contributed to Tottenham’s achievement of the best defensive record in the club’s history, with only 26 goals conceded in the Premier League in the entire season.
On November 1, 2017, the Belgian suffered a hamstring injury in the home game against Real Madrid that ended in a 3-1 win. This injury kept him side-lined for a few months.
He returned to the starting line-up in the fourth round replay of the FA Cup against Newport County. Two weeks later, however, he suffered a hamstring injury in training.
Now, Alderweireld seems to be back to his best. He helped the team defeat Guardiola’s Manchester City in the Champions League quarterfinal, that finished 1-0 on Tuesday night at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
According to Arsenal’s former striker Alan Smith, this will give Pochettino a “headache” in the summer.
In his column for the Evening Standard Smith said: “It has taken a while but Toby Alderweireld appears back to something like his best, which, in a perverse way, gives Tottenham a problem.
“Every rival knows he has a £25 million release clause in a contract expiring in 2020.
“So what do Spurs do? Try to persuade him to stay with a new deal or let him go, possibly to a direct rival?
“Alternatively, bank on he likes of the unproven Juan Foyth filling the gap?
“It’s a key decision on which Mauricio Pochettino will doubtless have a say.”
The future of the defender remains uncertain with many European heavyweights showing interest in the Belgian international.
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