Could Pochettino spring a surprise with Alderweireld's role at Spurs next season?

Toby Alderweireld

Tottenham Hotspur's new signing is a versatile player, and could be tasked with helping out in a problem position if the club look to persevere with their other central defenders.

Despite the fanfare of Toby Alderweireld's signing for Tottenham on Wednesday as the defender to help rectify their goals against issues, it is completely possible that Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino may have designs for the 26-year-old other than alongside Jan Vertonghen in order to remedy the defensive situation at the club.

Of course, the two players lined up alongside each other at Ajax in what was a very successful, and championship winning partnership, while they have also featured together for the Belgium national team, often as fullbacks but still in defence.

But considering the number of central defenders Spurs had at the club before Alderweireld was signed, and looking at a bunch of other factors, it is quite possible Tottenham might try and utilise the former Southampton loanee in defensive midfield next season.

There are currently as many as seven centre backs on the books at White Hart Lane (Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Federico Fazio, Eric Dier, Younes Kaboul, Vlad Chiriches and Kevin Wimmer), and though at least two of them could end up getting sold, the likes of Dier and Fazio could well be given further chances in the back four.

Pochettino and Spurs have been looking for a midfielder for some time, with Alderweireld's former Saints teammate Morgan Schneiderlin a man long on the club's shortlist but probably out of reach after he emphasised he was looking to join a team in the Champions League.

The Belgian actually featured in midfield in four of Southampton's matches last season, and though the club only managed to win one of those games, that wasn't through any fault of Tottenham's new player, who put in good performances on each occasion.

The majority of Alderweireld's career has been spent in central defence or at right back, but with Spurs selling Etienne Capoue to Watford and being unconvinced about Benjamin Stambouli, it could be that the Belgium international is tasked with the defensive midfield role while one of the club's many other centre backs continues to feature alongside Vertonghen.

The alternative, and some would say certainty, is that Alderweireld and Vertonghen are the preferred choice while the rest of the defenders are pushed towards loan or permanent exits, or have to make do with a squad role.

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