In some latest Toby Alderweireld news, the central defender is being linked with a move away. Both Manchester City and Chelsea have been linked with moving for the Belgian in the summer. This story centres contract issues at Spurs which looks to have offered encouragement to potentially interested clubs. Could this be part of a much wider problem?
Nationality: 68 caps 3 goals
Position: centre back, can also play right or defensive midfield
Reported Transfer Fee: no mention but if Spurs take up their option to extend his contract until 2020 a release clause of £25mil will be inserted
2016/17 League Stats: 30 appearances (0 sub appearances) 1 goal (0 assists)
Verdict: I’m trying to think of a better defender than Alderweireld over the last few seasons in the Premiership but I’m not sure there has been one. He made a big impression in his first season as Southampton. Since he’s joined Spurs his game has gone up another level. In the last 2 or 3 years I’m not sure there’s anyone who actually comes close, barring maybe Azpilicueta.
He was regarded as a good youngster at Ajax and after four seasons as a regular with them in the Eredivise, Atletico came calling. He struggled to make much of an impression in his one and only full season in Spain but he can’t really be blamed for that.
In the 2013/14 season Atletico were probably stronger than they had ever been. Courtois was in goal on loan from Chelsea, Diego Costa was scoring for fun upfront with David Villa his back-up and Godin and Miranda had formed one of the best centre back pairings of recent times, both were in their primes and barely missed a game.
The next season he joined Southampton and he hasn’t looked back since.
Given Alderweireld’s performances, interest was inevitable. There’s been quiet suggestions of Man City’s interest for a while plus there had been some Chelsea stories here and there. It wasn’t until the contract issues were reported in the media though that these links started to get momentum.
Alderweireld is contracted until 2019. Spurs have the option to extend it by a year but that would invoke a release clause of £25mil. That might have seemed reasonable, when he signed two years ago, for a 30 year old defender, which he will be by then but looking at the market now, Alderweireld would surely be worth a lot more than that.
Spurs do have this season at least to try and sort the Belgian’s future out but if they are unsuccessful it might be wise to sell in the summer, rather than get into a situation like Arsenal have allowed with Sanchez. I can’t imagine what fee Alderweireld would command next summer. If Van Dijk is worth £70mil, a better player would surely not be too far behind even if he is older. So worst case scenario, Spurs would still likely make a sizable profit.
Danny Rose recently questioned Spurs’ pay structure in public. Whilst Alderweireld’s own agent said that he “deserves either a correct contract from Tottenham or a transfer”
I’m sure a lot of you are aware of Tottenham’s strict wage structure. Danny Levy is known for running a tight ship and being a tough negotiator. That hasn’t been much of a problem before though with existing players. Apart from the last couple of seasons and other than flirting with 4th place in the league on a couple of occasions, Tottenham haven’t had much success or won anything for years. So apart from the odd star, like Modric, Bale and Berbatov, their players haven’t been in huge demand.
The last couple of years however Spurs have shown that they can compete with the top teams in the country after consecutive 2nd place finishes. The TV money floating around in the Premiership has also changed the financial picture. Not to mention the financial backing of many of their direct competitors, allowing huge spending power, which only looks like increasing.
The result is Tottenham’s players are now starting to get much more interest from more clubs, with more financial resources. Clubs like Chelsea, Man Utd and Man City pay their players double, triple or even quadruple what better players at White Hart Lane get.
So can Tottenham and Levy really expect this to continue? …I very much doubt it.
Kyle Walker’s transfer to Man City was a warning and whilst Spurs may feel they got a good deal and a top replacement in Aurier (which I’d agreed with) There have been further warnings with the comments from Rose and Alderweireld’s agent.
Some players are clearly starting to look at how much more money is on offer in Manchester and across London. So surely Spurs will need to act.
With the way prices in the market are going, I’m not convinced many bargains still exist. So Spurs would likely need to heavily reinvest in replacements from any sells anyway. Whilst if they continue to stick to their strict wage structure will they be able to attract the best or even players on par with what they’d lose? …No.
I would say it would be almost impossible for Spurs to replace some players like Alderweired with the same quality regardless. There’s not many around on the continent, let alone at clubs they would leave Spurs for.
I’m sure Levy is aware of all of this but he has to be careful balancing the financial future of a club building a new stadium with the increased demands of the players. I suspect he will try and continue to play hard-ball until the very last possible moment. Whilst also trying to send a strong message to the other players.
Players like Alderweireld on relatively short contracts will hold all the cards though.
Ultimately it will come down to player demands and how much Spurs and other clubs are willing to pay. Spurs will likely increase their wage structure (eventually and after some stubbornness from Levy I’m sure) which will be sensible and satisfy some players. Whilst others will still want more and I therefore expect a few more departures over the next few transfer windows. I won’t criticise Spurs for that though as they don’t have the same financial strength of some of their competitors so to expect them to compete with them in the transfer market won’t be realistic.
Will Alderweireld be one of those to leave? I think it’s a strong possibility. He’s one of the best defenders in Europe. He will expect to be paid like one and there will be clubs who agree. I have strong suspicions he could earn a lot more and potentially double, somewhere else.
It wouldn’t surprise me if it isn’t long before Alderweireld turns out for one of Spurs’ rivals.
Man City, given their links, financial might and need for a centre back would be as good a bet as any at this stage.
— Alderweireld Toby (@AlderweireldTob) September 9, 2017
Can Spurs keep hold of Alderweireld? What about the rest of the team? Are Man city favourites if he leaves? Comment below.