Joe Rodon will not reach his peak at Tottenham for another three or four years, according to Danny Mills.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Leeds United and England defender suggested Jose Mourinho is being forced to play the 23-year-old because he does not have any other options.
Rodon started his fourth consecutive Premier League game against Everton on Friday night – his longest run in the Spurs side since his summer move from Swansea City.
The Wales international won a staggering 94 per cent of his duels in the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park, according to Wyscout.
In his 11 league appearances this season he has won 80 per cent of his duels – the highest percentage in the division.
Asked for his assessment of Rodon’s performances for Spurs, Mills told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “He’s a young player coming into a difficult scenario.
“I think Mourinho would like to throw in somebody with experience who is ready now and not have to nurse through a new, young player.
“He may be OK in three or four years but I think right now Mourinho needs an immediate impact.”
Asked whether Alderweireld could be that man, Mills said: “It’s difficult because we all look at it.
“We don’t know what goes on in training. There must be something going on. There has to be something that we don’t see.
“You have to go with the manager he knows what he’s doing. He’s a fabulous manager.
“You have to accept that they see more than we will ever see in those scenarios.”
Alderweireld and Rodon lined up alongside Eric Dier in a back three at Goodison Park.
The draw leaves Spurs in seventh, five points off the Champions League places.