It has been a while since Tottenham Hotspur fans have seen central defender Toby Alderweireld complete 90 minutes in the Premier League, but that is exactly what he did for his national team, Belgium, on Tuesday evening.
A serious injury originally kept the Belgian out of the Spurs side, and then the signing, and impact, of Davinson Sanchez has meant that the centre-back has not been able to reclaim his place alongside countryman Jan Vertonghen at the heart of the White Hart Lane outfitâ€™s defence.
The Belgium international has not featured in the Premier League since the end of October so his return on Tuesday evening will have been a welcome sight for those who follow the Londoners.
Alderweireld is out of contract with Tottenham in the summer, and as yet there are no signs that the two parties have been able to agree terms for him to remain at the club, which may be another reason why the defender has not been a permanent fixture recently.
Despite his lack of game time under Mauricio Pochettino, Belgium coach Roberto Martinez had no problem including the 29-year-old in the friendly against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday evening, which the Red Devils won 4-0.
However after that match the former Everton boss told the defender that if he is to be part of the Belgian starting XI when it comes to the World Cup in the summer he must be featuring regularly for his club side.
That means things could come to a head between Alderweireld and Pochettino as the centre-back bids to force his way into not only the Tottenham plans for the remainder of the season, but also that side when Belgium line up against Panama in their opening match in Russia later in the year.
The Belgian remains a popular man among the Spurs faithful after a series of fine performances while he has been at the club, and many of them were delighted to hear their star completely the 90 minutes on Tuesday, with the majority hoping to see him starting when their team heads to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea at the weekend.
Here are some of their comments:
No excuse for poch not to pick Toby now.
— David Messer (@davidmesser78) March 27, 2018
Nice to see you play 90 min. Hopefully you start against Chelsea!
— Aniello Moscatiello (@Aniello21987724) March 28, 2018
We need Toby in that 3 man defence against Chelsea
— Paul Dyer (@Paudyer07) March 28, 2018
First name on the team sheet this Sunday please COYS
— JL (@JeremyL26) March 28, 2018
Well done ðŸ‘ðŸ½ ðŸ‘ðŸ½ðŸ‘ðŸ½ðŸ‘ðŸ½ðŸ‘ðŸ½ be great to have you back on the pitch @SpursOfficial
— Tas Panteli (@Tas_Panteli) March 28, 2018
— Michael Eary (@meary1980) March 28, 2018
Hopefully see you in a spurs top against Chelsea on Sunday
— Paul Reynolds (@thelane61) March 27, 2018
Aha! So youâ€™re fit! Yay! See you at the bridge Toby!
— Lauren Richier (@ldrichier) March 27, 2018
Well done Toby. Hopefully youâ€™re back on the pitch for Spurs soon.
— martymoo (@martymoo6) March 27, 2018
Hope you're fit enough to do another 90 mins on Sunday!! COYS
— vince steptoe (@vsteptoe) March 27, 2018