Belgium manager Roberto Martinez admits he is concerned over Toby Alderweireld’s lack of game time for Tottenham ahead of the World Cup.
Alderweireld has barely been involved for Spurs in 2018 despite having fully recovered from the hamstring injury he suffered against Real Madrid in November.
The defender made his long-awaited return to action in February, but he has been left out of a number of important games in recent months, including Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United.
Alderweireld made his first league start since October in a 1-1 draw against Brighton & Hove Albion last week, but Mauricio Pochettino has been primarily opting for a centre-back partnership of Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez lately.
On top of his injury, Alderweireld is in the midst of a contract dispute with Spurs. As a result, he is expected to leave at the end of the season.
With the Belgian unlikely to see much more first-team action for Tottenham, his national team manager has admitted he is worried ahead of the World Cup.
“Obviously it’s been a concern, because Toby has been Mr Consistency in the last few seasons,” the former Everton boss told talkSPORT (via football.london).
“Remember, he had a great partnership with Jan Vertonghen. They started together at Ajax, they developed at a very young age and ended up playing in the Premier League together.
“That gives you a knowhow that has been reflected in their performances. With Toby, he had a difficult injury at the beginning of the season. But when he’s been with the national team he has been really important in our performances.
“In the last few years he has been at a very, very good level. Now it’s just (about) trying to see that he can get back to the best level and then being able to get that match fitness that he’s missing because of the lack of games.”
Belgium are in the same group as England, which means a number of Tottenham stars will be facing each other in Russia. Whether Alderweireld will still be a Spurs player by then remains to be seen.