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Paul Merson has admitted that Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld is “probably the best defender in the world.”

The former Arsenal man made the claim in his Premier League predictions column for Sky Sports.

Merson thinks Spurs will lose 3-1 at Manchester City on Saturday, suggesting Mauricio Pochettino’s side would have a better chance without their current injuries.

“If Tottenham had their best team out they would give them a game but I don’t think they will do it with the defenders they have out,” writes Merson.

“Toby Alderweireld is probably the best defender in the world in my opinion and he is badly missed. And Davinson Sanchez is out along with Victor Wanyama, so they are missing big players. Otherwise it would have been game on.”

Alderweireld is set to remain sidelined until February with the hamstring injury he picked up in last month’s victory over Real Madrid.

Thankfully, his countryman Jan Vertonghen avoided a yellow card against Brighton and so will not miss the City game through suspension.

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