The Belgian contributed hugely to Tottenham's superb defensive record this term.
When it comes to looking back over a fine year for Tottenham Hotspur and deciding who was the club's signing of the season, there can be only one man.
Dele Alli does not technically enter the running as he was signed midway through last season before being loaned back to MK Dons, but even if he was included, this writer would argue that defensive linchpin Toby Alderweireld was even more important than the young breakthrough star.
Alderweireld moved to White Hart Lane from Atletico Madrid for £11.5 million last summer after spending the previous campaign on loan at Southampton, and he has been integral to all that was good about Spurs this term.
No Premier League side was more watertight in defence than Mauricio Pochettino's this season, as the North Londoners conceded a joint-low of just 35 goals from their 38 fixtures.
|Outfielder Block||Total Clearance||Head Clearance||Duel Won||Aerial Won||Interception||Ball Recovery||Goals||Mins Played|
At the heart of this was Alderweireld. The Belgian international brought a calming presence to the Spurs backline which has been missing in recent years - arguably since the last days of fitness of former captain Ledley King.
According to Opta stats, the 27-year-old made an important block on average nearly once per game, and was ranked third and fifth in the list of all Premier League defenders for clearances and headed clearances respectively.
He made more blocks and clearances than any other Spurs player and was generally the commanding presence that the club needed to strengthen their defence, allowing the side to build from the back.
His £11.5 valuation last summer, a fairly hefty price tag for a defender, is likely to have doubled 12 months on, and if he can reproduce the same kind of form next season, Tottenham have every chance of being up there with the best again next term.