Alderweireld’s return to Tottenham starting XI better than a new signing

While much has been made of Tottenham Hotspur going through the summer transfer window without making any new signings, the circumstances around some of the existing squad breathe energy into the group.

Lucas Moura is making an impact after a full pre-season at Spurs, Erik Lamela has returned from injury and looks sharp and Kieran Tripper is beaming with confidence after his World Cup exploits.

However, Toby Alderweireld’s return to the Tottenham starting XI against Fulham and the suggestion the Belgian will stay at the club is the biggest positive for Mauricio Pochettino’s men over recent months.

I was among many Spurs fans that feared the star defender had played his last game for the club, while speculation was rife over a potential exit throughout the summer.

Although the possibility that Alderweireld is sold by Tottenham to a foreign club remains for the next week, his selection against Fulham suggests he is in Pochettino’s plans.

Regardless of whether Spurs play three at the back or a four-man rearguard this season, having the Belgian in the starting XI improves the team.

Davinson Sanchez is a mercurial talent and a player Tottenham will rely on, but Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen are essential starters in big games.

With a clash against Manchester United on Monday, having the Belgian pairing together in the side’s defence is a pre-requisite, as Spurs look to continue their positive start to the new campaign.