Having been out injured since the beginning of November, Tottenham will receive a massive boost with the imminent return of Toby Alderweireld.
The star centre back came off injured on Nov 1, in a UCL tie against Real Madrid. The initial diagnosis was a torn hamstring. His return date was scheduled for Feb. 4 against Liverpool.
But it seems Alderweireld is slightly ahead of schedule. In an interview with Sky Sports, Alderwiereld told the media,
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"“I feel good. I feel fit. I’m strong. I feel ready to give 100 per cent again, like I always do… I worked very hard to come back to the training group as quickly as possible. Not one thing in my head is doubting about the injury.Now it’s up to me to prove that I’m ready again to the manager. It’s always up to the manager (if I play). I’m looking forward to give my all on the pitch.– Toby Alderwiereld"
Davinson Sánchez has been fantastic in Alderweirled’s absence, but there is no doubt having Toby back will be a huge boost for his teammates. His return will also allow Spurs to use a back three with more than enough personnel to cope in defensive midfield. That kind of versatility has been sorely missed.
This weekend’s FA Cup fixture against Newport could offer Alderweireld the perfect chance to get some match time under his belt.
However, Newport’s pitch isn’t particularly conducive to a seamless return from a hamstring injury. It’s primarily used as a rugby pitch, so the turf is usually severely torn up, uneven and otherwise flawed. Mauricio Pochettino may decide to err on the side of caution, particularly taking into consideration the Belgian’s importance to the side with Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Juventus on the horizon.
With a crucial sequence of forthcoming fixtures, Tottenham will need the entire team at their best.
In the ever important battle for top four positioning, Tottenham must be flowing at an optimal rate. With a fully fit Toby Alderwiereld coming back into the mix, Spurs are in strong spot to make a run during what will most likely be the decisive period in the 2017-18 season.
Would you risk Toby against a physical team on a Sunday league pitch?