Why Arsenal should look to sign Tottenham star Toby Alderweireld
Consistently impressive centre-backs are not easy to find for the top Premier League sides. While a mid-table side doesn’t need to work quite as hard to find solid defenders, it is the hardest task for the scouts of the bigger clubs where expectations are sky-high.
While at a smaller club, a few defensive frailties by a new signing could be excused, no excuses will be given to defenders at top clubs. They are the people handed the exclusive responsibility of guarding that team’s goal.
Defenders like Nemanja Vidic and John Terry who were rigid and dependable on any given day are not to be found in the English top-flight. Instead, we’ve seen players like Papi Djilobodji, Alexander Buttner and Sebastien Squilacci being brought in with laughable results.
Only a very few defenders who could fall into the former category are still plying their trade in Premier League. One of them is Tottenham Hotspur stalwart Toby Alderweireld. A solid, rugged and a rather old-fashioned defender, his contribution to this Spurs side over the last few seasons is unquestionable.
He is quick and is also extremely dependable. His heading ability in the box will be a fresh experience for Arsenal fans as they have never really depended on headed goals or clearances.
According to Sky Sports, Tottenham have triggered a one-year extension clause for Toby. But this new extension means that his release clause of £25m has also been activated. This summer, any team interested in purchasing the Belgian centre-half will be able to trigger this release clause.
While reports from the Daily Star suggest that Manchester United are interested in signing the Belgian international, it is Arsenal who would benefit the most by attaining his signature.
Currently hit with an injury crisis, Arsenal only have 3 recognised centre-halves available for selection. With Emery often playing a back three, it is vital that Arsenal get a top-class central defender.
Even with a fully-fit defence, their backline does look the bleakest of all the premier league top-6 clubs. With other teams having able backups at the back, Arsenal are dependent on rather inexperienced names like Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos as their backup defenders.
Alderweireld would be a welcome addition to a defensively weak Arsenal side. His astute interception will help the midfielders break out quickly while he is more than capable of striding into the opposition half to create space for his teammates.
He is that much-needed defensive wall that Arsenal need. Koscielny has aged, while Mustafi is not top class – two good reasons why Alderweireld is a must for Arsenal