Toby Alderweireld has been told by Belgium coach Roberto Martinez he needs game-time at Tottenham to be selected for the World Cup.
Alderweireld has not featured in the Premier League since October due to injury and his last start was over a month ago in the FA Cup against Rochdale, but he played the full 90 minutes as Belgium beat Saudi Arabia 4-0 on Tuesday.
Martinez has strong central defensive options, including the 29-year-old’s Tottenham team-mate Jan Vertonghen and Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany.
And Alderweireld has been warned that without regular minutes at Spurs in the closing weeks of the season he will be at risk of missing the World Cup.
“Every player needs to get a really good period of football now,” Martinez said. “Seven weeks is not a lot of time.
“Certain players that play a lot of minutes, the playing time now is not essential.
“But [for] other players who have not played that much – and Toby can be one of those – it is important.”
— Alderweireld Toby (@AlderweireldTob) March 27, 2018
Despite having concerns over Alderweireld’s playing time at FA Cup semi-finalists Spurs, Martinez was impressed with the defender’s showing against Saudi Arabia.
“What you see with Toby is that urgency and the defensive, natural habit of intercepting any threat around him,” Martinez added.
“I saw him really sharp during the [training] camp and it was great to see that he was really strong in the last 15 minutes physically.
“And he lasted 90 minutes in a really good way.”
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