Toby Alderweireld joined Southampton only on transfer deadline day and has yet to make his debut for the Saints, but questions are already being asked on his long-term future.
The Belgium international defender is currently on a season-long loan at the Saints from Atletico Madrid, with the Premier League outfit having the option to sign him on a permanent contract next season.
A transfer fee between the two clubs has reportedly been agreed, but Atletico also have the option not to sell the 25-year-old if they want to retain his services for the 2015-16 campaign.
Alderweireld himself has now admitted that he is not sure what will happen when his season-long loan spell at Southampton finishes at the end of this term.
‘There is a provision that Atletico can take (me) back if they want to’, Sky Sports quotes him as saying. ‘For me, next year the situation is complicated. We sit down together after this season with all the parties and see what the best solution is’.
Alderweireld’s transfer deadline-day move to Southampton may have happened because he was deemed surplus to requirements at Atletico, but his talent and quality cannot be undermined.
Having developed at Ajax’s famus youth academy and played for their first team until 2013, the Belgian joined Atletico last summer for a reported transfer fee of £6 million.
However, the versatile defender - who can play both as a centre-back and as a right-back - could start just 10 La Liga matches and three Champions League fixtures for the Madrid outfit in 2013-14.
Having played for Belgium at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, what Alderweireld now needs is more games that will help him regain his old touch.
Alderweireld may not guaranteed playing time at Southampton, but under Saints manager Ronald Koeman, he is likely to get more chances than he would have got at Atletico under Diego Simeone.