Tottenham supporters have been making a lot of noise in the last few hours after seeing their side reach the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men went into their meeting with North London rivals Arsenal having got past Watford and West Ham to reach the last eight, where Unai Emery’s Gunners stood in their way of a return to the last four for the first time since 2014. Yet Spurs produced an excellent display to win 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night, with goals from Son Heung-min and Dele Alli setting up a semi-final clash with another of their London rivals Chelsea in the New Year.
As such, there have been many thrilled Tottenham fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are daring to dream about what their team could go on to achieve this season, given they are third in the Premier League, in the last four of the Carabao Cup, and in the knockout stages of the Champions League.
And one man who is likely to play a key role in whatever success they have this term is defender Toby Alderweireld, who made the move to the North London outfit for just £14.4 million (as per Transfermarkt) back in the summer of 2015.
131 games, six goals, and numerous outstanding displays later, and it’s pretty clear that the Belgium international has become a lynchpin under Pochettino, and one that is making an absolute mockery of that measly price-tag.
Ultimately, it was at Southampton in which Alderweireld made his name in English football in the 2014/15 season, shining under Ronald Koeman on loan from Atletico Madrid to thus earn a permanent move to Spurs, much to the frustration of the Saints.
And the 29-year-old has continued to deliver and improve in becoming one of the best centre backs in the Premier League during his time at Tottenham, starting all 38 of their Premier League matches in the 2015/16 season as Pochettino’s men finished third in the division behind Leicester City and Arsenal.
And with 30 appearances the season after in their run to second place in the table, ending up seven points adrift of champions Chelsea, it’s clear that Alderweireld played a vital role in those two title-chasing campaigns, not least given Pochettino’s side finished with the best defensive record in each of those two seasons.
Yes, last term was a tricky one for the defender given he missed much of it through injury, and Davinson Sanchez deputised admirably to call into question his future role in Pochettino’s side, yet Alderweireld has since shown his class once again to become the senior centre back again this time round.
The 29-year-old has 22 appearances in all competitions already this season, the same he mustered last term, to underline how integral he is to Spurs and what they may go on to achieve this season – and in an era of inflated transfer prices, that £14.4 million they spent on him is looking rather remarkable.
In fact, with Alderweireld now valued at £36 million by Transfermarkt, it’s pretty clear that the 29-year-old has made an absolute mockery of the measly price-tag it took to lure him to Tottenham three-and-a-half years ago.
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