If a club comes in for Toby Alderweireld up to two weeks before the end of the summer transfer window with a bid of £25 million, it is likely the player will not be at Tottenham Hotspur next season. Alderweireld has been a pivotal part of Spurs’ mean defence under Mauricio Pochettino and there is no argument that he will be a huge loss should he leave. He may yet sign a new contract, but it looks unlikely.
Davinson Sanchez is a player that the Spurs manager admires and Jan Vertonghen is seen as being as important, if not more so, than his Belgian compatriot, but can another member of Spurs’ back line Alderweireld?
Can Juan Foyth Replace Toby Alderweireld?
This season in the Premier League, Juan Foyth has just six games under his belt, whilst Alderweireld has 24. Foyth has one goal to his name, whilst the Belgian has none. Alderweireld commands an impressive 68% tackling average whilst Argentina’s Foyth has just 53%. However, it may be unfair to compare those stats as the difference in games played skews those stats.
What is an interesting statistic to consider, though, is the average player ratings for the pair. According to WhoScored.com, Alderweirled has a 6.83 average and Foyth has 7.07. Not a lot in it, but what it does demonstrate is that when Foyth plays, he is playing well and is being noticed for that.
The King of Pings
Is there a better passer of a ball out from the defence than Toby Alderweireld? His long-range passing accuracy is 89.3%. He can split defenders with one ball and he rarely fails to not find his man. One touch and a long ball becomes a Tottenham attack. At times, his passing is reminiscent of the great Glenn Hoddle, and that is some comparison to have. Foyth, at 57.3%, doesn’t quite have the same range yet and that is one reason why the Belgian would be such a huge loss to Tottenham.
Where Foyth has really stood out in his performances this season has been his ability to bring the ball out of defence. There have been a few movements for fans to cover their eyes but, in general, he is calm and collected. In the recent Champions League tie against Borussia Dortmund, Foyth performed a Cruyff turn on the edge of his own box and strolled out of defence with a confidence that belied his years. The Wembley crowd stood to applaud along with audible gasps of ‘wow.’
With the season still ready to throw up many more twists and turns, it may be churlish to ask whether Juan Foyth could replace Toby Alderweireld at the heart of the Spurs defence. Pochettino, though, is a planner and he will already be thinking about the ‘what if’ o fAlderweireld departing. At present, Sanchez would seem the most likely partner for Jan Vetonghen but Foyth has shown signs of his talent. His confidence is already there and he doesn’t look nervous on the ball.
Keeping Alderweireld has to be the focus for Spurs but with Juan Foyth, Pochettino and his scouts have unearthed a player ready to be an incredible talent and go on to be a fine player for Tottenham Hotspur. Of that, there can be little doubt.