It’s an uncomfortable topic, but one we need to have.
In light of the news coming out of HLN that Toby Alderweireld is more than likely out the door this summer, we’re already looking ahead to a summer window that is going to be crazy. With the World Cup going on and England also opting to end their transfer window before the season starts this season, time will be of the essence to get deals done. While this isn’t going to be a full out version of Daniel Levy’s Imaginary Shortlist, with an international break going on, this is something to talk about. Below is a list of players that we will expect to be linked to, who we may or may not want, etc.
Jonathan Tah – Bayer Leverkusen
6’4” / 203 lbs / Age: 22
Built like an M1-Abrams tank and with good recovery speed to boot, Tah is a rising star in the Bundesliga. He’s been capped three times by Germany in his young career and, while still a little raw, he’s shown that he’s a capable defender and could be looking to make the jump if the price and team is correct. Leverkusen have done business with Spurs in the past (Thanks for Sonny!) so it’s not outlandish to think that a deal like this could happen.
Joël Veltman – Ajax
6’0” / 161 lbs / Age: 26
Veltman fits in the category of a “here and now” replacement at the age of 26. The Dutch International has been a mainstay in Ajax’s since 2012, making 137 appearances for the club. He’s a versatile player, being able to play both center back and right fullback. Given the Ajax connection that Spurs have enjoyed the last several years, this is one to watch for.
Matthijs de Ligt – Ajax
6’2” / 171 lbs / Age: 18
If we’re aiming for youngsters, then Matthijs de Ligt is one that should be at the top of the list. Only 18 years old, he already has 37 appearances for Ajax including starting in their Europa League final against Manchester United last season. Given Ajax’s business model of building up young players and selling them for large sums of money, this may still be too early to sell for Ajax. Still, expect to hear links to him and several clubs.
Alfie Mawson – Swansea City
6’2” / 179 lbs / Age: 24
Born in the London Borough of Hillingdon, Alfie Mawson’s career can be described as a slow and steady climb. He was with Brentford from 2012-2015 but had six different loan stints in his time there before he was sold to Barnsley. He impressed there enough to catch the eye of Swansea City in 2016, bringing him in for a paltry fee of just £5.3m. Mawson is a steady center back who has played well in a rough campaign for the Swans. If Swansea succumb to relegation this season, you can bet that Mawson is going to be highly sought after and could fit the bill, even if he isn’t the sexiest of signings.
These are just a few of the players that come to mind. Surely there are some dream signings, but we have to remember this: If and when Spurs sell Toby this summer, the depth chart is going to be Jan Vertonghen, Davinson Sanchez, Eric Dier, Juan Foyth and Cameron Carter-Vickers (currently on loan). Foyth has been getting called up to the bench more often and has played in some cup ties this season, so his growth appears to be going well.
So how about it? Yes, this is awful to talk about but it’s not like we haven’t been through it before. Who do you want to replace Toby?