Toby Alderweireld is expected to leave Ajax this summer with the North London rivals expected to rival each other for his signature. Is he better at centre-back than the sides current Belgian residents Thomas Vermaelen and Jan Vertonghen?
Belgian footballers are all the rage at the moment particulary in the Premier League; and with good reason as well. The likes of Vincent Kompany, Moussa Dembele and Maraouen Fellaini have been catching the eye for a few years now while Romelu Lukaku, Kevin Mirallas and Simon Mignolet have really shown their talent this season.
Two of the highest profile Belgian internationals playing in the Premier League have been Thomas Vermaelen and Jan Vertonghen. The Arsenal and Spurs defenders are very similar players. Both left-footed and capable of playing at left back neither is afraid to push forward and attack either; although I would personally say Vertonghen is the better of the two a side of me also feels his best position is in deep-lying midfield where he regularly features for the Belgian national side.
The pair were both educated at the Ajax academy which obviously lends itself to pedigree in itself and are now regular starters in the Premier League; but both have been linked with another Belgian at Ajax who just might be better at centre-back than the pair of them.
Toby Alderweireld has been in great form for Ajax this season and been a regular in the side for the last three seasons.
He was the starting centre-back at Ajax with Vertonghen after the departure of Vermaelen to The Emirates and in terms of the amount of mistakes made Alderweireld is certainly a better option than Vermaelen.
He is also technically gifted with a great eye for a pass from the heart of defence and has even been known to pitch in with a stunning 25-yarder or two in the past.
Recently the Belgian international has been linked with a move away from the Eredivisie and his ability to play at right-back could help him win over suitors such as Arsenal and Tottenham who have both been linked with his signature.
Martin Jol was the man who gave him his first real break in professional football while he was in charge at the Amsterdam Arena and is could be interested in splashing the cash on the 23-year-old to replace Brede Hangeland at the end of the season.
However a reported transfer fee of £9 million is far more likely to be in the range of the North London rivals. Last summer Arsenal failed to persuade Vertonghen to join the club as he chose White Hart Lane and considering the pairs previous working relationship you would have to say Spurs are in pole position to bring him to the Premier League.
Would you want to see Alderweireld at Arsenal or Tottenham next season?
image: © mikehamm