Mauricio Pochettino says he has not been taking Toby Alderweireld’s contract situation into consideration when deciding to leave the Belgian out of recent match-day squads.
Tottenham take on Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturday, and reports suggest Alderweireld will once again be absent from the group.
The Belgian missed out on the squad that faced Chelsea last weekend despite playing 90 minutes for his country just days earlier.
Alderweireld is believed to be in the midst of a contract dispute with the club, with various outlets reporting the defender could be sold this summer if he doesn’t agree a new deal.
With all of that in mind, there have been suggestions Alderweireld has fallen out with Pochettino over his recent non-inclusion.
But the Spurs manager claims Alderweireld’s personal situation has nothing to do with his team selection.
“When we decide, it’s not about personal feelings or emotions, it’s about providing the team with the best tools to win,” Pochettino said (via Ham&High).
“I don’t care about the personal situation with the club – their contract, if they are happy or not happy, I don’t know. If they show me they deserve to play, they are going to play. I cannot consider if they have a one-year contract, six months or 10 years.
“When [Moussa] Sissoko arrived, he was a record signing. But if he’s not the best, he doesn’t play.
“I remember when Dele Alli arrived from Milton Keynes, and Sonny (Heung-Min Son) came for £22million from Bayer Leverkusen. Who played? Dele Alli, the whole season. Then there were rumours that Sonny wasn’t happy.
“My decision is always about football – it’s not personal and not because of a contract problem. I don’t care about that.”
While Tottenham’s current system is working out fine, it would be interesting to see whether Pochettino would recall Alderweireld if anything happens to Sanchez or Vertonghen.