Tottenham would have targeted Virgil van Dijk had a deal for Toby Alderweireld fallen through in the summer of 2015, according to the Athletic.
Alderweireld spent the 2014/15 season on loan at Southampton from Atletico Madrid, who then sold the Belgian to Spurs ahead of the 2015/16 campaign. He went on to become one of the Premier League’s leading centre-backs.
However, it seems Tottenham could have signed a defender of even higher esteem had they failed to get Alderweireld over the line.
The Athletic claims Van Dijk was at the top of Spurs’ list of alternatives to Alderweireld. Van Dijk played for Celtic at the time and moved to Southampton as Alderweireld’s replacement a year later.
It is believed Tottenham continued to track Van Dijk following his move to England but apparently he quickly became too expensive, eventually joining Liverpool for a huge fee in January 2018.
Spurs can’t be too disappointed considering Alderweireld remains a valued member of the first-team squad, but it’s interesting to imagine how things might have turned out with Van Dijk at the club.