Pochettino's best decision? Alderweireld is helping Tottenham star Vertonghen rediscover form

Toby Alderweireld

Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen have struck up a strong partnership at Tottenham.

Tottenham Hotspur made it two wins from the last two Premier League games on Sunday, defeating Crystal Palace 1-0 at White Hart Lane.

New signing Son Heung-min continued his promising start to life in North London, hitting the winning goal following a driving run in to the penalty area.

Son's early performances have been a big boost for Spurs, but manager Mauricio Pochettino should also be delighted with the impact of fellow summer arrival Toby Alderweireld.

The Belgian centre back, 26, joined Spurs from Atletico Madrid this summer after a superb loan spell with Southampton last term, and his move reunited him with Jan Vertonghen.

Alderweireld and Vertonghen both started their careers in Belgium with Germinal Beerschot, before moving on to Ajax together, whilst they have also featured together for the Belgian national team.

The 15-year relationship between the pair was seen as a great way for Spurs to bring some stability to their back line - and so far, it has worked.

  PositionAlderweireldSeasonGoals Conceded per gameInterceptions per gameTackles per gameClean SheetsAppearancesMins Played
Jan Vertonghen DF Without 2014-2015 1.38 2.19 1.34 7 32 2,810
Jan Vertonghen DF With 2015-2016 0.67 2.67 1.5 3 6 540

Above are Vertonghen's stats from last season - without Alderweireld - and this season, where he has been partnering Alderweireld yet again.

Vertonghen suffered a tough season last term, but you can see improvements from Vertonghen in terms of interceptions and tackles, whilst their partnership has contributed heavily to Spurs bringing down their goals conceded per game, with three clean sheets already; Tottenham managed just seven in the whole of last season.

A problem for Vertonghen last term was that he was constantly playing next to different defenders. First it was Younes Kaboul, then it was Eric Dier, Federico Fazio or Vlad Chiriches, none of whom gave Vertonghen confidence to play his best football.

Yet with Alderweireld, he now has a player who is familiar with his game, and their understanding has been the major factor behind Tottenham's improved defensive showings this season - and whilst Son may grab the headlines, signing Alderweireld may yet end up being Pochettino's best decision from the summer.

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