Tottenham star reveals extra effort to convince Pochettino to play him v Arsenal
Tottenham star Toby Alderweireld has revealed he has put in extra effort into ensuring he was fully fit for the north London derby against Arsenal on Saturday.
The Belgian centre back had been ruled out of action since suffering a major muscle tear during the 3-1 victory over Real Madrid back in November, and has only recently made his return to action.
He played the full 90 minutes of the club’s win over Newport County at Wembley in midweek, and is now targeting retaining his place for the derby clash against their fierce rivals, with the enforcer admitting he always had a desire to return for these sort of games and did all he could to return quickly.
He told Sky Sports: “It was a proper hamstring injury and the risk of re-tearing it was very big.
“That’s why we took our time and worked very hard so my muscles are ready for this type of game and to play a lot of games again.
“Of course you have those kind of games (derbies) that you want to be involved in. I worked very hard to play those kind of games and be ready and I feel very good.
“It is up to the manager now to decide who he needs.”
Alderweireld was a stalwart in the side prior to his injury blow, and has made a total of 16 appearances this season, appearing in every minute of the opening 10 Premier League games.
He missed the reverse fixture against the Gunners which ended 2-0 in favour of Arsene Wenger’s men, with Shkodfan Mustafi and the now-departed Alexis Sanchez both netting.
However Spurs currently sit ahead of sixth placed Arsenal in the Premier League table by four points, and Pochettino’s men are just one point behind Chelsea in fourth.
In other Tottenham news, Mauricio Pochettino has branded one man a “genius” for his role in their improved form.