Garth Crooks praises Toby Alderweireld as Tottenham's best player

Toby Alderweireld

Toby Alderweireld netted the second goal of Tottenham's latest win.

Garth Crooks has praised Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld, picking him in his Team of the Week for BBC Sport.

Alderweireld scored the second goal in the 3-0 win over Manchester United, heading in a free-kick moments after Dele Alli had put his side one up.

It was just reward for Alderweireld's outstanding form of late, believes ex-Tottenham forward Crooks, who says the Belgian centre-back has been Tottenham's best player not just against United, but for the last few weeks.

He said: "For me, the star of the show, and he has been for a some few weeks now, was Alderweireld. The Belgium international has held the fort brilliantly for Spurs, particularly in the absence of Jan Vertonghen.

"His quiet demeanour often belies his commanding presence in defence but it was his aerial prowess in attack that cut United to ribbons."

Alderweireld had Vertonghen back playing alongside him yesterday for the first time since late January, when his international and club teammate suffered a knee injury in a league game against Crystal Palace.

It was a big call from head coach Mauricio Pochettino to make in such a big game, and it is tribute to Alderweireld that Vertonghen's re-adjustment was just as seamless as replacement Kevin Wimmer's transition into the starting line-up.

Tottenham had to battle hard to beat Southampton to Alderweireld's signature last summer, but it clearly appears all the effort was worthwhile.

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