Toby Alderweireld: Why the Belgian Centre-Back is Man in Demand

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Much has been made of the future of Toby Alderweireld but it appears that the Tottenham Hotspur defender will be staying put. For now.

A recent contract extension was exercised on 4th January which ties Alderweireld to North London for another two years, but the opportunity to snap him up for £25m shouldn’t and won’t be ignored lightly.

Manchester United had been pursuing Alderweireld all summer but to no avail, with the board not sanctioning the transfer for then manager Jose Mourinho. The likes of Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus are all likely to show an interest in the Belgium star but there is no indication as of yet where he’ll be playing his football next season. As per Aldeweireld’s new contract – which means Spurs have to accept a bid of £25m – he looks set to be on his way sooner rather than later and Manchester City should strongly declare their intentions. Embed from Getty Images

Off To The Etihad?

The current Premier League champions aren’t exactly in dire need of new defensive recruits but when a player of Alderweireld’s talent becomes available, and at a bargain price in today’s market, then manager Pep Guardiola should be jostling to get to the front of the queue.
The Citizens are four points behind in the title race currently and although they have got themselves within touching distance of leaders Liverpool, City’s defensive record of late leaves much to be desired. Keeping a total of eight clean sheets in the Premier League this season, Guardiola has seen his sides strong early defensive work falter in recent weeks.

Defeats to Crystal Palace and Leicester City saw Guardiola’s side ship five goals, which have further highlighted their need to at least consider another top-quality centre-back. Although they do have the likes of John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi to call upon, the latter two aren’t in the same elk that Alderweireld currently is.

Van Dijk’s influence and Champions League aspirations

Liverpool have gone a long way in strengthening their defence when they signed Virgil van Dijk from Southampton last January. The Dutch star has been superb in his first year at Anfield and although Alderweireld is a different type of centre-half, the impact could be just the same.
This is exactly what Guardiola must be looking into, as that one signing (van Dijk) has turned the Reds into genuine title contenders. Granted, City have accumulated a lot more domestic success than Liverpool but to sustain it, they must keep adding quality to their ranks.

A signing of Alderweireld’s quality will also help City in their quest for Champions League glory, the only trophy to evade owner Sheikh Mansour since he bought the club in 2008. The Citizens have been drawn against Schalke in the second round of this year’s tournament and although they are expected to progress, they’ll need to demonstrate their defensive prowess to keep out the Bundesliga side. If you fancy City to go all the way this season, you can check out the Champions League odds on Betfair, where Guardiola’s side are current favourites.

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