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Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld explains the importance of Diego Simeone to his excellent current form

Toby Alderweireld spent one full season working under Diego Simeone.

The recent performances of Atletico Madrid in the Champions League and La Liga have been highly praised by fans and pundits.

Diego Simeone’s well drilled and magnificent defence are at times impossible to break down and it seems that Tottenham Hotspur are also reaping the rewards of the Simeone effect.

Spurs signed Toby Alderweireld from Atletico Madrid in the summer after he had impressed during a loan spell at Southampton.

The results have been clear to see, with the centre-back considered by many to have been the best in the league this season.

When it comes to the improvement of his defending, he puts a lot of it down to the season he spent working with Simeone in the Spanish capital.

He told HLN this week:

“Even though De Boer, Koeman or Pochettino were top defenders, I never got into details about the art defending with them. Purely defensively I think Winston Bogarde, defensive coach in Ajax’s youth ranks, and Diego Simeone influenced me the most.”

“Although I didn’t start every single game, I learnt a great deal at Atlético. Simeone taught me to enjoy clean-sheets. Or to take pleasure from a flawless game.

“Many defenders can defend well, but they maybe are not so good with the ball at their feet. I’m comfortable in possession. I always know what to do. That’s the Ajax school. On the other hand, I have those Simeone principles somewhere in the back of my mind.

“I got the best from both worlds and at Tottenham I’m seeing the benefit of it.”

Alderweireld did not feature regularly for Atletico during his one full season at the club. He was doing battle with the brilliant Miranda and Diego Godin for a starting spot in the Spanish side and struggled to usurp either in a title-winning season.

But working alongside such top talent and with one of the finest managers in world football today has certainly been a massive benefit to Alderweireld and Tottenham Hotspur.

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