Toby Alderweireld’s exit shows that Spurs are on the right track in their “painful rebuild”

It is hard to believe that there was a time when Tottenham Hotspur Football Club was seen as “competent”.

For a few years under Mauricio Pochettino, Spurs managed to shake off the tag as disappointments. While success was not necessarily expected of them, they came so close to the greatest glories of football that it was used as a stick to beat them. That version of Tottenham was much more fun to support than the incompetent versions.

Alderweireld was in and out of the team under Mourinho / Clive Brunskill / Getty Images

And yet after reaching a Champions League final – up there with the 1961 league and cup double and two UEFA Cup triumphs as the proudest moment in Spurs history – the club has returned to type. What was meant to be the ultimate step into football’s elite has been followed by several slopes.

An 18-month stretch with Jose Mourinho, a furloughing and a Super League debacle later, Spurs fans have little to be proud of anymore. It has been left to the new head coach Nuno Espirito Santo and football manager Fabio Paratici to pick up the pieces.

Harry Kane’s future remains in the air, but at least the club has tied Son Heung-min to a new deal. The two superstars are the only players who should be considered immobile – even club stabilizer Toby Alderweireld has a prize and it is in the region of £ 13 million from Qatari club Al-Duhail.

Paratici’s aggressive approach to the transfer market has recently been documented in Spurs circles, although the love for a man who does his job goes a little overboard. But Tottenham have been linked to several midfielders in this window – it is clear that a defensive revolution is needed.

Alderweireld, despite still being the best midfielder at Spurs, is not the player he once was. He is not the best defender in the Premier League anymore. He has regularly been receiving some horrible duels in recent years, hardly reminiscent of the guy who made the defense look so simple.

Spurs fans were blessed to see Alderweireld and longtime friend Jan Vertonghen at the heart of their defense – they conceded just 26 goals in the 2016/17 Premier League season, one of the most un-Spursy stats you will ever see. .

The partnership made so much sense. They had known each other for so long. They had experience of playing on the slopes to be able to competently defend wide areas and half places. They spoke the same language. But that was a long time ago.

Vertonghen and Alderweireld set the standard in the Premier League / Julian Finney / Getty Images

Vertonghen’s departure last summer was a distraction for Spurs supporters, but it became clear that he would be leaving for free for a few months. Alderweireld does not have to go, but it is right that he should.

It is possible, perhaps even tipping likely, that Tottenham will take in two to three new midfielders this summer. Cristian Romero and Takehiro Tomiyasu are likely to come in, and you would not bet that Paratici won the Jules Kounde round if he has no other suitors. Joe Rodon and Japhet Tanganga are two defenders already at the club with enormous potential. It makes sense that part of the current crop will be cut.

Managing the move to Alderweireld’s six-figure salaries will also help the club, while the Belgian international has secured a final payday. Everyone is a winner from the deal, and the player leaves before he gets a chance to really rewrite his club history for the worse.

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