COMMENT By Emma Sanders

Toby Alderweireld’s return is absolutely crucial for Tottenham and it will be a huge blow to the side after it was revealed he will not be fit to face West Ham on Saturday.

The Guardian revealed the defender will miss the London derby despite earlier reports claiming he had a chance of making it back into the side.

The Belgian international started 10 games prior to picking up a knee injury in the draw against West Brom in October but has been forced to miss the last six games for Spurs.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side have struggled in his absence and have not picked up a single victory in their last seven games, despite remaining unbeaten in the Premier League this season.

Disappointing draws in the league against West Brom, Bournemouth and Leicester were followed by a 1-0 defeat against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League, though their 1-1 draw against Arsenal last Sunday was far more positive.

Spurs have been plagued with injury this season but were boosted by the return of Harry Kane against the Gunners.

He might be their talisman, but it could be Alderweireld’s return which is the catalyst that will spark change for Pochettino’s side.

Tottenham’s defence has still been tight without Alderweireld. But the team is missing his technical ability, distribution and pinpoint long-range passing going forward.

Since he limped out against West Brom Spurs have only scored three goals in six games, and it’s only their defence that has stopped their results from being worse.

Spurs fans might have been praying for the return of Kane, but it could be Alderweireld who will turn the goals back on for Tottenham.

In other Tottenham news, Ray Parlour believes Arsenal could make a sensational swoop for this Spurs ace.