Gary Mabbutt has told Football FanCast in an exclusive interview that Toby Alderweireld should be playing in every Tottenham Hotspur game when he’s fit.
The central defender has been in and out of Jose Mourinho’s team this season.
He was on the bench against Manchester City and West Ham United, with Spurs losing both games.
The Belgium international has returned for the last three games, against Burnley, Fulham, and Crystal Palace, and Spurs have taken nine points from a possible nine.
Mourinho’s side have also conceded just one goal, a thumping header from Palace striker Christian Benteke in the 4-1 win for Tottenham, and Mabbutt has been so impressed with the 32-year-old that he believes he should be the “lynchpin” of the backline.
Indeed, Davinson Sanchez has looked far more settled alongside Alderweireld, with Eric Dier dropping to the bench.
Speaking to FFC, Mabbutt said: “He was one of the top defenders in the Premier League over a number of seasons. For me, again, it’s all about managers seeing everything, but what he has achieved during his time at Spurs over the years, Toby Alderweireld should be the lynchpin of our defence.
“With the experience he’s got, the knowledge he’s got, he should be the one.
“Whether he’s got Sergio (Reguilon) to his left and or Matt (Doherty) to his right, or Sanchez, or Eric or Joe Rodon, whoever alongside him, he should be your lynchpin that controls that area.
“He’s got Pierre (Emile Hojbjerg) in front of him, with Hugo (Lloris) behind you, those six are basically the crux of whether the team will be a success. If you stop conceding soft goals, stop giving goals away, stop giving opponents the opportunities, then that is what it’s all about.
“Now, to have a player like Toby in there who you can make the lynchpin, make him dictate that area, he controls his defence. Give him that responsibility, give him that privilege of being able to be the one to actually control that in there.
“Show Toby all those games over the years of how fantastic he’s been. He can still be the same player. He’s been coming in and out at times, but no make him the one that, okay, you’re in control of this. It puts more responsibility upon him, but players like that responsibility.
“I’d like to see him in that role.”
Spurs are next in action against Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League before taking on Arsenal in the north London derby next Sunday.
It remains to be seen if Alderweireld will be selected for both games, but one has to feel that he will be playing in at least one of those encounters.