Every Tottenham fan will love what manager has said about Alderweireld as mystery solved
By Richard Parks
Toby Alderweireld is fully fit and capable of playing 90 minutes of top-level football.
That is the assessment of Belgium manager Roberto Martinez after running the rule over the Tottenham defender during the national team’s 10-day get-together.
Alderweireld played the full match in a back three alongside Spurs teammate Jan Vertonghen and Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany in their 4-0 demolition of Saudi Arabia in a friendly on Tuesday night.
Martinez was impressed at how the 29-year-old finished the match strongly but pointed out that he needs to be playing for his club to be assured of starting at the World Cup.
“Every player needs to get a really good period of football now,” the Belgium manager said, as quoted by the Sky Sports website.
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“Seven weeks is not a lot of time. Certain players that play a lot of minutes, the playing time now is not essential. But other players who have not played that much, and Toby can be one of those. It is important.
“But what you see with Toby is that urgency and the defensive, natural habit of intercepting any threat around him. It was great to see that he was really strong in the last 15 minutes physically.”
Alderweireld has played only two matches for Tottenham since tearing a hamstring at the start of November.
Football Insider verdict:
All Tottenham fans will be delighted to hear Martinez’s verdict on Alderweireld, although they’d much rather hear it from their own manager. Mauricio Pochettino has been much more cautious about Alderweireld and it’s interesting that Martinez highlighted how the defender finished the match as strongly as he started. That puts to bed any suggestion that the defender is not fit enough to play for Spurs against Chelsea on Sunday, or that he can’t possibly even be up to making the bench. There has been an element of smoke and mirrors about Pochettino’s public stance on Alderweireld as a contract row simmers in the background. But the mystery over his fitness has now been emphatically solved.
In other Tottenham news, it can be revealed that the club have ripped up the contract of a defender.