Tottenham Hotspurs have completed the signing of Atletico Madrid defender, Toby Alderweireld, who was also a target for Chelsea.
The 26-year old Belgian international who played on loan at Southampton last term was reported to be set for medicals with Tottenham yesterday, despite legal threat by Southampton. The Saints had an agreement with Alderweireld’s club, Atletico Madrid to sign the player for £6.8 million, and to get £1.5 million if the Spanish club decide to let the defender join another team.
As at yesterday as per the Daily Express, Alderweireld’s father who also doubles as his agent denied reports the player has joined Spurs. But despite this, the former Atletico man will now team up with his compatriot, Jan Vertonghen – who also welcome the move yesterday – at the heart of the North Londoners’ defence.
Stamford Bridge was also a rumoured next destination for Toby Alderweireld, as Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho looks to bring in defensive reinforcements ahead of next campaign.
We should have gone all in for the Belgian defender, who can play as a centre-back, full back or even a defensive midfielder, which Jose would like. But now we have missed out on signing another defender.
So far, Augsburg’s Baba Rahman and Madrid’s Varane are the only players we have been linked to this summer, with the former being the one Chelsea have reportedly bid for. We even failed to make a bid for energetic Liverpool’s new boy, Nathan Clyne (who is a Chelsea fan) when he was at Southampton.
With the imminent departure of Luis, Chelsea’s pursuit of Baba is well understood as he is one of Europe’s promising left back.
The need to strengthen at the right side and centre of defence, meanwhile, is also paramount. At some point last season, Branislav Ivanovic was found wanting because he was given the license to support the attack by Jose, thereby forgetting his primary defensive duties.
Gary Cahill, on the other hand, was singled out for blame in the 5-3 Premier League defeat to Tottenham at White Hart Lane in January amongst others.
Hence, we should not have allowed Alderweireld who can play in both positions join our London rivals. Now it remains to be seen if Mourinho would make a move for Raphael Varane, who Real Madrid see as a ‘future captain’.
Toby Alderweireld made a total of 12 appearances for Atletico, but picked up a La Liga winners medal with the team in the 2013-2014 season. Last season, the defender helped Southampton to a Europa League qualification and their highest-ever position in the top flight (Squawka). He also won the Eredivise three times (2010-13) with Ajax.