Paul Robinson claims that Toby Alderweireld is being frozen out of the Tottenham first team because Jose Mourinho has given up his hopes of finishing in the top four.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Spurs star insisted that Mourinho is already planning for next season which explains why Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez are his preferred pairing in the centre of the defence.
Mourinho stuck with the same back four that faced Manchester United in the 2-0 win over West Ham. Veteran defenders Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, who were favourites of Mauricio Pochettino, watched from the sidelines as the Lilywhites secured their first clean sheet in 10 games.
The pundit believes that Mourinho has made up his mind before the start of next season. Robinson told Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs: “It would appear that is what he wants to go with. He has had a fully fit squad to choose from and he has left Vertonghen and Alderweireld on the bench for both games and Alderweireld is the best defender at the club.
“Sanchez and Eric Dier is a pairing he is giving time to ahead of next season. Mourinho has been brought in to build a winning team and squad and he needs to be given time to do that. Fourth-place is out of the question for them so he is building towards next season which will come very quickly.
“It is clear that Sanchez and Dier are his preferred two.”
Mourinho has been looking to plug the gap in a leaky defence ever since he took charge of Spurs and it seems he has finally settled on his new partnership at the back. The 57-year-old has made it clear he wants to win trophies at Tottenham and he must be given the opportunity to revamp his squad and plan for the future.
After a shaky start, Sanchez has benefited from Dier’s leadership, as he is one of the most vocal players in the team.
Alderweireld has actually received a higher WhoScored rating than Dier for his performances this season, although there isn’t much between them. As Alasdair Gold points out, while that’s not to say the Belgian doesn’t communicate with Sanchez, he does all of his talking on the pitch.
While Vertonghen is on his way out the door, Alderweireld signed a contract extension in December, which will keep him at the club until June 2023. He recently revealed that Mourinho’s appointment played an important role in convincing him to sign a new deal.
However, the manager will be strapped for cash in the summer and he may be tempted sell the £21.6m-valued veteran if an offer arrives to spend the profits elsewhere.
Tottenham fans, do you think Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld will leave the Lilywhites in the near future? Let us know by commenting below!
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