A key development has emerged regarding the future of Tottenham centre-back Toby Alderweireld in north London.
According to The Sun, Spurs are willing to cash in on the defender this summer. Fabio Paratici is said to be preparing a defensive shake-up, with the Belgian’s potential exit seemingly a part of that.
The report claims that Royal Antwerp, Club Brugge, PSV Eindhoven and Ajax are all keen on a deal for Alderweireld, with the 32-year-old having played for Ajax previously. Paratici has slapped a £25m valuation on his head and it remains to be seen whether or not any of the interested parties are willing to meet their demands.
Paratici is heading for disaster with this apparent decision on Alderweireld’s future. New manager Nuno Espirito Santo has barely been in the building and he could now be about to lose his best centre-back ahead of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign, which could leave him raging. Losing an important player is never ideal, especially within days of arriving at a new club, and the former Wolves boss may not take well to the Belgian’s departure if a deal goes through.
In the Premier League last season, Alderweireld averaged a solid WhoScored rating of 6.86 across 26 starts. Davinson Sanchez’s disappointing score of 6.67 was the next highest out of any Spurs centre-back to play 10 or more games, showing how crucial the former Atletico Madrid man is to the north London club. He has proven himself to be Spurs’ most reliable performer in the heart of defence, which means that he could be difficult to replace.
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand once compared the 32-year-old’s importance to that of Harry Kane’s to Tottenham, telling BT Sport (via Metro): “He’s as important as [Harry] Kane, in terms of importance to this team.
“He’s one of, if not the best centre-half in the league over the last few years. He’s fantastic, and a huge miss for them.”
This illustrates exactly why selling the £100,000-per-week beast could be a disaster for newly-appointed director of football Paratici. Tottenham could benefit more from cashing in on the likes of Sanchez and Eric Dier, who were unable to reach Alderweireld’s performance levels in the top flight last season. Letting go of the lesser performers could make more sense for Spurs, as it would allow them to potentially upgrade their roles by bringing in players in the transfer window.
Nuno could build around the 32-year-old Belgian and use him as a gold standard for new signings, with any additions in that area of the pitch knowing that they need to be at least as good as him in defence. This is why the club should be looking to keep hold of the experienced defender rather than encouraging prospective suitors to take him off their hands.