Pochettino insists he won’t change the system for Alderweireld’s benefits

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has admitted that Toby Alderweireld is no longer one of his first-choice defenders and that could see the Belgian depart the club at the end of the season, according to the Daily Mail.

Some of the European top clubs, including Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are all interested in the Belgian, who is yet to sign a contract extension with Spurs. The Daily Mail claims that Spurs are ready to accept £50million for him in the summer should the defender decide to leave.

Alderweireld has endured a frustrating season at North London due to fitness and has not played in the Premier League since October 28.

The 29-year-old’s limited game time this season prompted Belgium boss Roberto Martinez to claim that it is ‘important’ for Alderweireld to play for Spurs between now and the World Cup.

Pochettino has revealed that he had received a message from Martinez after the international break but insisted that he has a decision to make, with all his players back to fitness.

“I am agreed that the players need to play and compete but for me, first of all every single player needs to show in the training session that they are better than their team-mate and then at that moment I pick,” Pochettino was quoted by the Daily Mail.

“Toby in the last four months has struggled with his injury. I am not going to change the system because Toby needs games for the World Cup.

“I need to pick two centre-backs and if you are happy you keep the couple of players and he needs to wait. The interest for me is Tottenham, it’s about Tottenham to win, I understand the manager but what can I do.

“If he keeps working hard he is going to have the opportunity to play and compete but he is an experienced player. He needs to be fit and to be fit he needs to train every day.”

Alderweireld’s return to full fitness is a big boost to Spurs and given that the World Cup is on the horizon, it is important for the Belgian to get some much-needed game time under his belt from now until the end of the season.