UEFA.com announced the nominees for its Team of the Year on Monday and there’s a familiar face in the crowd.
Toby Alderweireld is one of 12 defenders on the 40-man shortlist, competing against some of Europe’s best defenders (and Laurent Koscielny) for a spot in the final XI.
The Belgian arrived at White Hart Lane last summer with little fanfare, but helped transform a leaky Spurs defense that had ranked 14th the year before into the stingiest unit in the league.
His performances earned him a spot in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year, one of four Tottenham players to make the cut (alongside Danny Rose, Dele Alli and Harry Kane).
After a good start to this season, Alderweireld picked up a knee injury against West Brom and has missed the past seven games. His absence has been greatly felt, with Spurs winning just one of those fixtures.
Alderweireld will likely have his work cut to make the final XI, going up against established names from the biggest clubs in Europe, such as Sergio Ramos, Gerard Piqué and Jérôme Boateng. Still, it’s good to see him getting the recognition he so greatly deserves.