Former Ajax defender signs for Southampton

According to reports,Toby Alderweireld (25) had three different Premier League clubs to choose from: Newcastle United, Sunderland and Southampton. He chose latter to play for this season. A remarkable luxury position for a player who just had an awful season.  The Saints will loan him the upcoming season from Atletico Madrid. Will he succeed in the Premier League? Martijn Hilhorst fully aware of the Belgian’s achievements in the Eredivisie, thinks he will.

The Summer Deadline Day of 2013 was one to be sad about for Ajax fans. On this day, Toby Alderweireld left them for Atletico Madrid for a transfer fee of £6 million. A year later he again decides to leave on the last day possible. Should Atletico fans be sad with his departure? Yes! It emerges that he would not play as a centre back with Diego Godin and Miranda ahead of him, but with a possible injury he could easily fill that gap. Southampton have made an absolute top signing with the Belgian international if you look closely to his qualities.

He became the first choice in the heart of defence at Ajax in the season 2008/09 after the departure of Thomas Vermaelen to  Arsenal. He and Jan Vertonghen were the central defenders that season and surprising everyone with great performances as the central defensive pairing. Vertonghen was the more footballing centre back while Toby’s job was to man-mark the central striker and they were brilliant. A stat to prove it: 2007/08: 41 goals conceded then in 2008/09: 20 goals conceded. Since that fantastic season no team in the Eredivisie conceded less.

His concentration is world-class. Give him an task and he will fulfil it wonderfully. Alderweireld is surprisingly fast for a big guy (six-foot two-inches) and his technical abilities are off the chain. Passing, composure and pure technique are attributes you would not expect from a defender. That’s not all! He is excellent in the air and his long range shots are frighteningly accurate for a centre-back.

Underneath is a list of remarkable achievements of Toby Alderweireld’s career:

TobyA

A uncountable amount of clubs wanted him after winning three consecutive championships with Ajax. He then chose for Atletico Madrid which seems was a big mistake. Both Miranda and Godin are top-notch centre backs and Alderweireld is not world-class. Not yet, because with his qualities it’s inevitable that he will succeed at Southampton.

*All stats courtesy of WhoScored and Squawka, via Opta.

Name-MartijnHilhorst

Click on Martijn’s name above to follow him on Twitter

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