Belgium manager Roberto Martínez has piled the pressure on Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld to feature in his side's crunch game against Chelsea this weekend, after claiming that first team football will be a key factor in making his World Cup squad.
In an interview with the Times, the former Everton manager admitted that playing regularly would be essential for the 29-year-old, stating:
"Every player needs to get a really good period of football now. Toby is one of those, it is important.”
Alderweireld has made just two appearances for Spurs since picking up a hamstring injury against Real Madrid last November.
However, the former Atlético Madrid man played the full 90 minutes for Belgium in their 4-0 international friendly win over Saudi Arabia on Tuesday night, which supports rumours suggesting he has fallen out with his club manger Mauricio Pochettino.
The robust defender's contract contains a clause meaning that he could leave for just £25m in 2019, which has apparently led the player to stall over a new contract as it is a key bargaining chip in gaining a more lucrative deal - apparently much to Pochettino's chagrin.
Davinson Sánchez has impressed in Alderweireld's absence, and Spurs may well cash in this summer.
The news will come as a worry to fans of the north London side, as their talismanic midfielder's involvement on Sunday would be a real boost in their hotly anticipated match against Chelsea.