Toby Alderweireld is looking forward to seeing some familiar faces when he goes up against Southampton on Saturday – but the defender will not be doing his old club any favours when Tottenham visit St Mary’s.
The Belgium international spent last season on loan at Southampton from Atletico Madrid, making 26 appearances in the Premier League for Ronald Koeman’s side.
They believed there was a clause in the deal to keep the defender on a permanent basis for a fixed fee, but instead the Spanish side sold Alderweireld to Tottenham.
Now the 26-year-old takes on his former colleagues for the first time since leaving.
However, his main focus is helping his current employers bounce back from a home loss to Newcastle United last time out.
“I will be happy to play there again and to see all the guys but it’s all about a good performance for us,” Alderweireld told Tottenham’s website.
“I’m very thankful to Southampton and we helped each other.
“They needed a centre-back and I had the decision to stay at Atletico or come to the Premier League.”
Southampton have struggled of late, picking up just one point from their last four league fixtures while also suffering a humiliating 6-1 League Cup defeat at the hands of Liverpool.
However, Alderweireld knows plenty about Koeman’s squad and believes they are capable of beating anyone on their day.
“They haven’t got the results they would have wanted in the last couple of games but they are doing well,” he added.
“They have a very decent team and have played well this season. If you look player by player, it’s a strong squad.
“They are consistent and capable of beating anyone and they have something special there.”