It's been speculated that the Belgian center back has been frozen out amid a contract dispute.

By 90Min
April 06, 2018

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has explained why center back Toby Alderweireld has struggled to regain his place in the side.

Many have speculated that Alderweireld had been frozen out due to 'upsetting a few people' over his refusal to accept a contract offer from Tottenham. 

However, his manager has insisted that he only takes football factors into account when selecting his teams, and ignores contract situations and other speculation that may be surrounding the player.

"For me it's like all the players. We assess the players, day by day and week by week. It's true that it was unlucky when he got the injury against Real Madrid. A massive injury," Pochettino told a press conference, per football.london.

"Of course that was a difficult period for him to get back and fit. Of course different players push in their performance and he needs to wait like different players during the season, they need to keep pushing and working hard and be ready if the manager is going to give the opportunity.

"For me, like every single manager, it's about performance, training sessions, form during the season and then you pick your starting XI, the best players to try to play.

"He needs to keep pushing and of course the team is in very good form, 13 games unbeaten in the Premier League. For no one it is easy to come back and play again. But for him it was a difficult moment because it was a tough, tough injury."

When asked whether it would be a risk to play Alderweireld and Harry Kane at the weekend, Pochettino stressed that the situation was the same with Harry Kane and, in fact, for any other player in his squad.

He added: "Both were completely different injuries. Harry Kane only missed one game, against Swansea, and it is not the same when you twist the ankle and when you suffer a muscle injury. For me now, it is about balance in the team, performance and it is about how the 25 players compete with each other and then to take a decision.

"Now is not talking about Harry Kane or Alderweireld, it is not about risk of injury or because they are not fit or because different situations, about if one player has one year, two year or 10-year contract.

"My decision is always about a football decision and when you have all the players fit like we have, I think only Harry Winks and Kyle Walker-Peters are out, and I think it's about picking your best starting XI."

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