Mauricio Pochettino has said Toby Alderweireld isn’t guaranteed a start for Tottenham against Southampton on Wednesday night despite Jan Vertonghen’s suspension.
Alderweireld was surprisingly dropped for Sunday’s north London derby defeat at Arsenal. He was replaced by Juan Foyth at centre-back and the 20-year-old made a mistake in the build-up to the hosts’ third goal.
Vertonghen was sent off towards the end of the derby and will subsequently miss the meeting with Southampton at Wembley. Davinson Sanchez is injured, so the obvious choice for Pochettino would be to parter Alderweireld and Foyth.
However, when asked if Alderweireld will come straight back in during his press conference on Tuesday, Pochettino was unsure.
“We’ll see. There are different options. Dier can play there,” said the Spurs boss (via football.london).
“It’s about trying to be right and in the end win the game. That’s the most important but of course we come from a competitive week and we are going to face another competitive week. Wednesday Southampton, Saturday Leicester and a must-win game against Barcelona and keep going.
Alderweireld is out of contract at the end of the season. Tottenham have the option to extend his deal by a year but that would trigger a £25m release clause that can be met in the final two weeks of next summer’s transfer window.
In the short term, Spurs fans will be hoping the Belgian returns to the line-up against Southampton. Eric Dier looked uncomfortable at centre-back on Sunday.
Looking further into the future, there will be fresh concerns about Alderweireld’s situation if he is left out of the team on Wednesday. Check out our predicted XI here.