Toby or not Toby? That is the question.
I should preface this ramble by saying that nothing you are about to (hopefully) read is based on fact. Continue at your own risk.
Toby Alderweireld is, apparently, on (a measly) £50,000 a week. Levy. What a b*stard, eh? Well no, actually. First of all, Alderweireld was clearly happy to agree to those terms at the time he signed his contract. No one put a gun to his head. But why shouldn’t he have been happy? The club has clearly demonstrated (in the cases of Kane and Alli) that if your performances merit it, existing terms can (and will) be improved on a regular basis. If he could have matched the levels of performance displayed by the two players I’ve mentioned there’s every reason to expect he would have received similar treatment.
But the bottom line is that, in this fan’s eyes, Toby Alderweireld has had just one really good year at Tottenham. The season before last his displays (coupled with a lengthy injury absence) fell some way short of his debut year. Last season (the one just finished) he took another step backwards (not helped, again, by another lengthy injury). On the final day of the season he was part of a defence that shipped four goals. To Leicester.
If the latest story is to be believed he has rejected a new contract worth £120,000 a week. This would have given him parity status with all the top defenders in the league (bar van Dijk, who is, apparently, on truly obscene money). He has therefore been offered at the very least the “going rate” for a player of his ability and he has said “no”.
When, some time before the end of last season, Kyle Walker informed the club of his decision to leave, he was effectively taken off first-team duties and Kieran Tripper was promoted to take his place. The argument put forward here was “if you don’t want to be part of our future you have no place in our present”. It’s a bold approach and one which I unreservedly applaud (helped, admittedly in Alderweireld’s case, by our having Sanchez and the extremely promising Foyth on our books).
It’s looking increasingly likely that Toby Alderweireld wants no part of our future. Therefore, in my view, the club has little option but to cash in on him while they still can. I genuinely don’t think he’ll be missed as much as people seem to think he will be.