Dele Alli praises qualities of Tottenham 27-year-old
By Dominic Toner
Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli has claimed that team-mate Toby Alderweireld is a “great player” following his return from injury on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old defender had missed the club’s last 10 games with a knee injury and made his comeback off the bench in a 3-1 victory against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League.
Spurs have now qualified for the Europa League knockout rounds and turn their attention to a Premier League clash against Manchester United on Sunday.
Alderweireld could make his first league appearance since West Brom on 15 October and is a welcome return for manager Mauricio Pochettino.
The north London club won just twice during the defenders 10-game absence from all competitions and midfielder Eric Dier has been forced to fill in at centre-back.
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Spurs midfielder Alli has explained how gapped Alderweireld is and what he adds to the team.
“Toby is a leader, great defender, great on the ball and a great player,” Alli said, as quoted by the club’s official website. “He’s a joy to play with, to be honest.”
Alderweireld is regarded as the best centre-backs in the Premier League by many people and he has become a crucial player for Spurs.
The Belgian intentional has been very consistent since he moved to White Hart Lane in 2015 from Atletico Madrid and was also impressive during a loan spell at Southampton.
He will now hope to get the club’s title aspirations back on track this season, with a seven-point gap to close on league leaders Chelsea.
Spurs will need Alderweireld on Sunday will be needed to nullify the main threat of United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has scored 13 in just 22 games across all competitions.