Alan Hutton has been left stunned by the fact that the partnership of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen has not been used by Jose Mourinho in recent matches.
Vertonghen is yet to start a match for Spurs since the Premier League restart having made two late cameo appearances against Sheffield United and Everton.
Alderweireld was named in the starting eleven for the first time against Everton at the expense of Davinson Sanchez to partner Eric Dier.
Speaking to Football.Insider, the former Spurs right-back has insisted “something is going on” for the Belgian duo to not be starting XI regulars now following the poor showing against Sheffield United.
Serge Aurier, Ben Davies and Eric Dier all kept their place in the side despite the crushing defeat to the Blades last week.
However, Hutton believes all four should have made way after the defeat showed their defensive frailties.
He said: “I think Alderweireld and Vertonghen, when they’re on top of their game, they’re a world-class partnership. It just feels something’s gone on there for them not to be playing.
“Tottenham looked frail, especially the Sheffield United game, they looked really bad. It’s obvious where they need to strengthen and that’s the backline in my opinion. It was really disappointing.
“I just think the defending in the Sheffield United game, even when I think about it now, it’s schoolboy stuff. It’s just covering, matching your runners, stopping one-twos – it’s simple, the basics of being a defender just weren’t there.
“He could have changed the full back-four against Everton, Sanchez got pulled out of the firing line.”
Following Alderweireld’s inclusion to the starting eleven, Spurs recorded a rare clean sheet as they snatched all three points in a narrow 1-0 victory over the Toffees (BBC).
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Perhaps over-hauling the whole backline would have proved more problematic than just replacing Davinson Sanchez. However, it is strange not to see Alderweireld in the starting XI every week. Jose Mourinho clearly is planning for the long-term future with Eric Dier and Sanchez at centre-back.
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