The one that won’t go away. It always seems to be the case every transfer window and this one is no different. Toby Alderweireld is once again being linked to Old Trafford. According to the Daily Mirror Alderweireld is prepared to run his contract down at Spurs if he’s not able to force a move through. It’s interesting as Unagited are supposedly close to bringing in Yerry Mina from Barcelona, so if that is completed will Alderweireld be on his way as well? I’m not sure. You’d think the United hierarchy won’t be too keen on bringing in both of them without someone going out the exit door.
Full Name: Tobias Albertine Maurits Alderweireld | Date of Birth: 02/03/1989 | Place of Birth: Wilrijk | Height: 186cm | Nationality: Belgian | Foot: Right | Agent: Stirr Associates | Current club: Tottenham Hotspur | Date joined: 08/07/2015 | Contract expires: 30/06/2019.
If we put the magnifying glass on his Premier League exploits at Spurs, we can see that he’s played eighty-two times. I suppose Toby’s biggest gripe will be the lack of silverware. You can understand where he’s coming from as he’ll be thirty next year. Time is running out. Tick tock. Alderweireld was also part of the Belgium side which played in that game against Japan. Our friends over at FootballFanCast have sent us this graphic to illustrate what he got up to in that game.
While he would have been disappointed to have been on the losing side in the semi-finals against France, he can take great pride in his World Cup performance. Performances at major international tournaments can’t be taken as benchmarks as to how good someone is, though. Cough, Hal Robson-Kanu, cough. So, the best way to look at how good Alderweireld is is to compare him to United’s current centre-halves.
At the comparison table, pitting their wits against Alderweireld, we’ve got Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo & Phil Jones. The categories? Tackles won, aerial duels won, interceptions, clearances & blocks. You know, the usual. Due to the fact that they all played differing amounts of football last season, I’m going to give you the stats per 90-minutes rather than the totals. You still with me? Good. Alderweireld won 0.1 more tackles last season than any of the others. I thought it was going to be the start of a Toby whitewash. I’ve never been so wrong.
He is MILES away when it comes to aerial duels won. To give you some idea, Eric Bailly & Marcos Rojo won 69.57% of their aerial duels last season. Toby? 34.15%. Surreal difference. I’d like to say it gets better, but it doesn’t. Interceptions are next on the menu. Smalling wins this one with 2.15 per ninety minutes. What about Alderweireld, I hear you cry! 0.32 per ninety. I’ve checked and they’re not wrong, either. He wins some brownie points back with clearances, nonetheless, he’s still almost one behind his closest opponent. Alderweireld made 4.09 clearances per ninety, Bailly was the closest with 5.04 – Rojo made 7.87. Unbelievable. We finish with blocks. Once again, Alderweireld was at the bottom of the pile. It’s weird, isn’t it? Out of those defenders, I would say Alderweireld is the best, however, it seems that if you knock the ball in at head height, he’s going to struggle.
Despite what the stats tell us, would Alderweireld improve United? Absolutely. Should Mina AND Alderweireld both be brought in? 100%. Will they? Not in a month of Sundays. Famous last words right there! If Spurs refuse to let him go which I think will be the case, I hope Alderweireld will give it his all this season for the North London club. We’ll see.
Until the next time.