Tottenham Player of the Year: 5 candidates ranked
Despite a recent downturn in form that’s seen them dragged into a four-way scrap for the final two Champions League spots, Tottenham Hotspur have still had an excellent season by anyone’s standards. They remain 4th in the Premier League – and could move back to 3rd by beating Huddersfield on Saturday – and have made it to the last 8 of the Champions League for the first time since 2010/11.
Mauricio Pochettino has done a tremendous job with the Spurs squad over the past 5 seasons, turning them into genuine title contenders by helping fringe players improve, bringing in key newcomers and promoting youngsters to the forefront. And this season he’s managed to do it without signing a single player.
Now at home in their new stadium, Tottenham’s squad remains relatively small in comparison to their rivals, but that doesn’t make them much worse off, if at all. They still have some of the best players in the Premier League, and here’s a look at 5 contenders for their Player of the Year for 2018/19.
#5 Toby Alderweireld
For a long period in the summer, it looked like Belgian centre-back Toby Alderweireld would be on his way out of Tottenham, as sides like Manchester United and Juventus were known to be interested in him, and his contract was set to expire in the summer of 2019. No move materialised though, and there’s no doubt that Spurs fans are probably very happy about that.
After being laid up with injuries for long periods of 2017/18, Alderweireld has been back to his commanding self this season, ensuring that Tottenham’s defence remains strong even against some of the most dangerous attacking talent in the world. The Belgian was particularly outstanding in the Champions League Round of 16 second leg against Borussia Dortmund, and it’s quite clear that Spurs are a tougher nut to crack with him in the side.
Whether Spurs will be forced to sell Alderweireld in the summer is still up for debate – they extended his contract by a year earlier this season, but that extension also allows for a £25m release clause – a relatively low price for a defender of his calibre. If the Belgian does leave, there will be no doubt that Tottenham will miss him – particularly after a season of this standard.