Nikola Maksimovic could be the centre-back to replace Toby Alderwerield at Tottenham

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For the majority of the summer just passed, Spurs fans would have been preparing themselves for the departure of centre-back Toby Alderwerield.

After the 29-year-old had helped his national side Belgium to a third-place finish in the World Cup in Russia, Manchester United were heavily linked with a £60m move.

United though failed to sign the Belgian, but they also failed to sign any of the central defensive targets that Jose Mourinho had identified and if the Red Devils come back in for Alderweireld in the summer of 2019, Spurs will be forced to sell him for just £25m thanks to a clause in his current contract.

The Lilywhites then should be on the lookout for a long-term replacement for Alderweireld, and Nikola Maksimovic’s stand-out display for Napoli against Paris Saint-Germain should have given the board their perfect target.

The Serbian international actually played at right-back in the 1-1 draw and was taken off with around 15 minutes left to play, but his stats were hugely impressive and prove that he is capable of being the ball-playing centre-back that Spurs will need.

The 26-year-old actually spent the second-half of last season on loan at Spartak Moscow before returning for this campaign, but he has not been a fixture in Carlo Ancelotti’s side since and has made just seven appearances in all competitions.

Against the French champions though, Maksimovic proved that he has the ability to become a playmaking central defender like Alderweireld. In fact, while playing out of position he completed 97 per cent of his total passes and the three key passes he provided for teammates were only beaten by Dries Mertens in the Napoli team.

With three clearances and one tackle when defending, Maksimovic helped his side to a strong result that keeps Group B wide open, but he may also have alerted clubs across Europe looking for a new centre-back.

A January move to Tottenham would give him time to settle in at the North London club before the summer, when Alderweireld will presumably move on and the Serbian could slot in as his replacement.

So, Tottenham fans, would you like to see Daniel Levy open the chequebook to sign Maksimovic in the winter transfer window? Have your say by voting in the poll below.