€7m Liverpool summer target on his tough start in Spain - 'I am really enjoying playing here now'

Toby Alderweireld struggled for first-team football at the start of the season. But he is settling into his Atletico Madrid home.

This summer one of the biggest tasks faced by Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers was simply how to replace legendary defender Jamie Carragher in the heart of his defence.

One option that did pop up in discussion was Ajax defender Toby Alderweireld - Alderweireld was linked with many teams across Europe this summer.

Alderweireld was the subject of a failed bid from Norwich City and was also linked with Everton, Arsenal and Newcastle United - as well as teams from Russia, Germany and Italy.

But Liverpool were widely expected to make a move for the player, and at the one point it even seemed they were the favourites for his signature.

In the end however he headed for Spain. Alderweireld completed a move to Atletico Madrid in a four-year deal in the summer for a fee in the region of €7million.

But his time in Madrid did not exactly get off to a bang. It took the Belgian until October to make his debut for the club. Atletico’s starting centre back Miranda picked up a hamstring problem and Alderweireld came in to the fold.

He has now begun to play a more vital role at the club - and has recently spoke about his start in Spanish football:

“The adaptation process has been a good one and I am playing more and more so I am very happy. I proved to myself that I could do this and I proved to the Coach that all I want is to do my best for this team - I am really enjoying playing here now.”

Alderweireld was said to be unhappy earlier in the season - as his lack of playing time seemed to irk Belgian national team coach Marc Wilmots.

But now he has settled in it looks as though he made a wise choice in making a switch to the Spanish capital - as they fight for a La Liga title and are even tipped as dark horses in this seasons Champions League.

To do so they will need a big squad, full of talented individuals - so Alderweireld is sure to be a part of the picture as the season goes on.

image: © azuaje

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