The press generally take two half truths and make them fit together regardless of their credibility. It’s like a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle of a complex countryside scene and a man armed with scissors, trimming bits off to make them connect.
The end picture is obviously wrong and perhaps slightly disturbing but at least he can claim to have completed the puzzle.
Spurs central defender, Toby Alderweireld was the subject of much speculation last summer.
It was hinted that he was interested in moving clubs but more recently it’s been said that the club may be looking to offload him.
This is the first piece of the jigsaw and it’s plausible from either side. Not least because Alderweireld was out of favour at Spurs for sometime.
It’s also a fact that the player is 30 years of age and will reach his potential as a player within the next few years, so his transfer value is probably at it’s peak.
Rivals Arsenal, are looking for a centre back which leads us all to shout ‘ta dah’ and sit back expecting one of the most unlikely transfer deals takes place.
Alderweireld is a good player but is he what Emery needs ? Actually, No, he isn’t. Arsenal actually need a leader, a voice and an organiser.
For around the £25m mark, they could do much better and get someone younger.
They already have Sokratis but next season may be pivotal for the brutish but admirable Greek, due to the introduction of VAR.
It’s likely that he may receive considerable attention for his more debatable tackles, many of which may see him suspended for long periods or sent off.
Arsenal still have Rob Holding on his way back from injury and Mavropanos in reserve but they will need at least one other central defender that doesn’t mirror what they already have.
Kosceilny will surely be in his final season for his experience and cover,
Mustafi will realistically be moved on immediately but whatever way you look at it, aside from the trauma of moving to Arsenal, Alderweireld’s transfer just doesn’t feel right.
He doesn’t fit the existing combinations and although he may be better than some of the regular personnel, he isn’t a figure that takes charge of the area and barks orders.
That’s what Arsenal need but that type of player won’t come cheap.
Conor Coady (Wolves) Nathan Ake (Bournemouth) would be better value for the position.
Alderweireld’s contract expires in 2020 and if he is to stay, negotiations are probably already underway.
It may depend on how Spurs perform and what they achieve this season or it may be the players ambition to have one last big money move.
I expect him to extend his contract unless a big Spanish or Italian club come calling, only then will he feel that he has to move but a move to Arsenal ? Certainly not.
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