This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Former Tottenham Hotspur boss Tim Sherwood believes that defenders Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen could both move to China at the end of the season, per Sky Sports.
Both defenders have contracts that expire at the end of the season.
Alderweireld had a £25m release clause that could have been triggered in the summer, though no club came forward with an acceptable bid, while Vertonghen was left out of the first three games of the season.
Sherwood, though, believes that they could both seek a move to the Far East in search of one last payday.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ The Debate, he said, initially speaking about Christian Eriksen’s future: “I really hope for Tottenham’s sake that he does (sign a new deal).
“Alderweireld looks like he’s going to move and at 30 years of age, it’s probably his last time, and Jan Vertonghen at 32, it’s probably the last time they’re ever going to fill the till up.
“It’s a short career. They need to do that. Perhaps China, Chinese clubs don’t take defenders very often but the last move of their career, they’re probably waiting for that big one just to come.”
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Vertonghen and Alderweireld both have the ability to play for the club for the next few years.
Yes, the former is 32 and the latter is 30, but they both show precious little signings of ageing on the pitch.
Vertonghen was probably the club’s best defender last season and he has formed an exceptional partnership with his compatriot in north London.
It would be an error for both players to head off to China, which is fast becoming a graveyard for elite stars who were once plying their trade in Europe; one only has to look at the career trajectories of the likes of Oscar and Ramires to see proof of that.
Keeping them at Spurs is key to the club’s future and chairman Daniel Levy should be pulling out all the stops to make it happen.