Is Alderweireld the key to Man United regaining the Prem title?
Following a trophyless campaign at the Manchester United helm, Jose Mourinho will be looking to shake up his ranks this summer. And it seems his first signing is likely to be Tottenham Hotspur’s Toby Alderweireld.
The proposed move has reportedly been given the OK by Spurs. But is the Belgian the right man to help take United to the next level?
Impressive stats and Belgian partnership
With Alderweireld and compatriot Jan Vertonghen at centre-back, Spurs conceded a scrooge-like 26 goals in the 2016-17 Premier League campaign. That’s the best defensive record of any side since Man United in 2008-09.
In fact, Alderweireld missed eight games that term – in which Spurs conceded eight times. With him in the side, they shipped just 18 goals in 30 matches.
Alongside Vertonghen, the 29-year-old has built a terrific understanding – in a very well-balanced backline. As for United, it’s hard to say what their first-choice centre-back pairing is.
In addition to his physical strength and an impressive 86% pass accuracy rate last term, Alderweireld has a composure United lack at the back. That was summed up by Phil Jones’ almost comical foul on Eden Hazard, which cost United in the FA Cup Final.
That all suggests the Belgian could help take the Red Devils to the next level. But there are a couple of lingering doubs.
Injuries and the silverware issue
One problem United have had at the back is injuries. Jones has been in and out of the physio room for several seasons, whilst Eric Bailly missed a three-month chunk of last season.
That’s also a question-mark over Alderweireld. Two separate injuries since October 2016 have sidelined him for a combined 38 matches. That certainly adds an element of risk for a deal where United could have to shell out a sizeable sum.
Whilst he’s been one of Spurs’ top performers in recent years, there’s no getting away from the fact that the North London club haven’t lifted a major trophy since 2008.
There’s an argument that United could benefit from players with trophy-winning pedigree. And while Alderweireld lifted several league titles with Ajax, it’s something he doesn’t have on these shores.
Ahead of the coming campaign, Man United are 6/1 to win the Prem title for the first time since 2013.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing