Tottenham Hotspur’s mightily impressive start to the new season has led to talk that Mauricio Pochettino’s men will be in the hunt for the Premier League title in 2016-17 – with some important elements at the core of the team’s success.

A miserly defence that has shipped just three goals this season is boosted by dynamism in the final third and a work-rate second to none in the English game.

When Spurs are on the ball, the fluidity of their attacking play has been a joy to behold, with the likes of Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela and Son Heung-min gaining the plaudits for their creativity.

However, a slightly unlikely but very important source of the side’s possession stems from the heart of the team’s defence.

Toby Alderweireld one of the best defensive centre-halves in the Premier League; so much so that the Belgian’s exemplary distribution with the ball at his feet could be overlooked.

The former Southampton loanee regularly steps into midfield to receive the ball and has a range of passing that most playmakers would be proud of.

As showcased by the winning goal against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, Alderweireld’s crisp low pass into Lamela’s feet was the source of Son netting the decisive strike.

The giant Belgian also has an excellent understanding with Dele Alli, with the former Ajax enforcer regularly supplying accurate balls over the top or to feet that can unleash the England international.

With Jan Vertonghen also comfortable in possession and able to pick a pass, Tottenham possess not only arguably the meanest defence in the Premier League but two centre-halves that actually add to the side’s attacking potency through their pinpoint distribution.


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