Jamie O’Hara has seemingly questioned Toby Alderweireld’s decision to leave Tottenham and joined what he dubbed a ‘farmers league’, as he told talkSPORT.
The 32-year-old left Spurs on Tuesday and has opted to join the Qatari side, Al-Duhail SC, after both clubs came to an agreement on a deal.
It means that Tottenham’s strongest centre-back pairing from possibly the last 20 years – Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen – are no longer at the club.
O’Hara shared that the defensive duo would be in his ‘top five’ Premier League centre-back’s of all time, as he shared his thoughts on Alderweireld’s decision to go to Qatar.
“Alderweireld has left Spurs, he has gone to Qatar with a nice big fat contract I would imagine,” said O’Hara.
“He’s getting on but I would still say, how quickly and easily do you go from Spurs then to go and play in a farmers league.
“When you look at Toby and Vertonghen, we didn’t win anything as trophies, but you cannot then say they cannot be in there (as one of the best centre-back partnerships).
“It’s almost like saying ‘Harry Kane isn’t a great striker because he hasn’t won anything’. You couldn’t say that. For me, Toby and Vertonghen go in my top five Premier League partnerships – I just don’t see if Spurs are going to see a back four like that in a long, long time.”
There is no doubt that Tottenham have declined defensively for several years now, yet it could still be argued that Alderweireld was one of their better players at the back during that period.
Fans will question how the Belgium international was allowed out of the door before the likes of Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez, who have been more problematic at the back than the former Southampton man.
Either way, those pinging balls to Harry Kane or Heung-Min Son will be dearly missed by Spurs as they look to write a new chapter in their history.
Trying to build a back four like the one that Mauricio Pochettino nurtured during his time in North London will be one of the biggest tasks facing Nuno Espirito Santo.