Toby Alderweireld on 'best period' at Southampton, hints at permanent switch

The Atletico Madrid defender is currently on loan at Southampton.

The 25-year-old Belgian international has started seven of the Saints 11 games since completing a season-long loan switch to St Mary’s Stadium on September 1.

Having signed for La Liga champions Atletico Madrid at the start of last season, Alderweireld made just 12 league appearances for Diego Simeone’s men, also appearing in Europe on four occasions. Having been a consistent part of Ajax’s title winning side before his move to Spain, the defender admitted that he was unhappy with the limited playing time he was receiving, and, with first-team opportunities looking limited once again this term, he completed his move to the Saints - keeping a clean sheet on his debut, a 4-0 victory over Newcastle.

He has since become a regular fixture in Ronald Koeman’s high-flying side, with the Saints sitting a remarkable second in the Premier League after 11 games, four points off league leaders Chelsea, but also four points clear of third-placed Manchester City.

There have reportedly been talks between the two clubs to extend Alderweireld’s deal to a permanent switch to the South Coast, and the player himself seems keen on the move, telling Belgian media outlet HLN that he is in one of the best periods of his life with Southampton.

Alderweireld, who is set to win his 42nd cap for Belgium on Wednesday, said: “It's true that I might be in one of the best periods of my life.

“I feel happy and well and have a great feeling about the Premier League.

“I did not play much last year. I have learned a lot in Madrid, but my hunger to perform weekly was particularly great.

“I now want to give everything for a whole season for Southampton, and then see whether the club wants to take me permanently from Atletico.”

That Alderweireld appears to be keen on a permanent switch to St Mary’s Stadium will be positive news for the South Coast club, allowing them to up their interest in the in-form central defender.

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