Tottenham’s contingent have, for the most part, performed well thus far at Euro 2020, with Pierre Hojberg and Toby Alderweireld leading the way.
Hojberg has been at his indomitable best for Denmark, who await a quarterfinal date against the Czech Republic. If Denmark prevail, it will mark their first semifinal berth in a major tournament since winning the tournament in 1992.
Toby Alderweireld, along with former Spurs legend Jan Vertonghen, led the line to eliminate 5th ranked Portugal yesterday in the Round of 16. While Portugal had their chances to score, Toby held firm against Cristiano Ronaldo and company. The 32-year-old has enjoyed a brilliant Euro 2020 campaign, proving he’s still up to the task at an elite level.
Belgium defend by committee which certainly makes life easier for Alderweireld, who is often asked to clean up the mess left by Eric Dier or Davinson Sanchez at club level. And while Belgium enjoyed two relatively unchallenging matches — against Finland and Russia — they were pushed to the brink against both Portugal and Denmark.
Seeing Toby lead the backline with such assurance and tenacity bodes well for Spurs next season. Though the stalwart centre back needs a partner who can help, not hinder his plight. That individual could be Joe Rodon, though there are still a lot of unanswered questions regarding the Welshman’s readiness to play a central role consistently in Spurs’ backline.
The Welsh trio
Aside from Wales’ Round of 16 defeat to Denmark, Rodon enjoyed a strong Euro 2020 campaign. He helped a 10-man Wales all but stifle Italy’s prolific attack and also kept an admittedly anemic Turkish offence off the scoresheet. Rodon should learn a lot from Wales’ defeat to Denmark, providing an experiential outing for the 23-year-old.
Regardless of Rodon’s readiness, Spurs need to find another strong, wily centre back to partner Toby. Ben Davies didn’t look out of place at the tournament but wasn’t a force to be reckoned with either. The left back was exposed against Denmark, showing his defensive vulnerabilities. He was at fault for Denmark’s third goal, which saw Joakim Mæhle leave the Welshman for dead.
Gareth Bale, no longer a Tottenham player, was at the heart of pretty much every Wales dangerous attacking movement. He was quiet against Switzerland and, other than a long-range effort against Denmark, didn’t impact proceedings the way he wanted to against Denmark.
The major concern regarding the current version of Bale is his inability to impact big games against top sides. He did nothing to assuage those concerns at Euro 2020. It’s still unknown whether Tottenham will attempt to renew his loan deal for an additional season.