Tottenham Hotspur handling Toby Alderweireld well - Belgium's Martinez

Tottenham Hotspur handling Toby Alderweireld well - Belgium's Martinez
From ESPN - February 19, 2018

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has backed Tottenham's handling of fit-again Toby Alderweireld but said the defender had wanted to play against Juventus last week.

Alderweireld continued his comeback from a long-term hamstring injury when he played 90 minutes against Rochdale in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday, having returned in the fourth-round replay win over Newport County on Feb. 7.

In between, Alderweireld was left out of the squad for the matches against Arsenal and Juventus, although Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said the player believed he was ready for the Champions League round-of-16 first leg in Turin.

Martinez has spoken to Alderweireld in the last week and told Het Laatste Nieuws: "I have recently had a good conversation with Toby Alderweireld.

"I am happy that Spurs take their time and do not rush him back. But of course Toby would have liked to have played against Juventus. His situation will need time."

Alderweireld's return has been further complicated by his ongoing contract impasse with Spurs, with a source close to the situation telling ESPN FC that the latest round of talks had broken down last month.

The defender's 50,000-a-week deal is due to expire in 2019 and Spurs are currently unwilling to meet his wage demands.

They can trigger an option to extend his contract to 2020, but that would activate a buyout clause allowing him to leave if a 25 million bid is received before the final two weeks of the summer 2019 window.

Martinez said: "Toby has become one of the most consistent defenders in the Premier League.

"It's normal that his situation draws a lot of attention, certainly when he's nearing the end of his contract. But I think that he will end this season in top shape."


Continue reading at ESPN »