Cast your minds back, dearest readers, to a week ago when there were stories floating in the winds of bat country that Toby Alderweireld had a release clause in his Tottenham Hotspur contract, was becoming dissatisfied with life at White Hart Lane, and was refusing to sign a new deal before his contract expires in 2019. Remember that?
Well, that didn’t last long. While the release clause bit is accurate, The Mail is reporting today that not only is Toby happy at Spurs, but he’s now in negotiations with the club for a new deal that will double his wages and will keep him at the club through 2022. The new deal would presumably also ditch that pesky contract clause, as well.
The new contract, if signed, is said to pay Toby £100k/week, which would put him right up there with Hugo Lloris and Harry Kane at the very top of Tottenham’s wage structure. That also means, amazingly, that Spurs have only been paying him £50k/week for the past two years on his original contract, which is an absolutely ludicrously low number for a player who is probably the best central defender playing in England at the moment.
This is not a done deal and is also in the Mail, so let’s not put the cart in front of the horse quite yet, but if this is accurate, Daniel Levy has played this incredibly smart. Spurs are not able to pay the same kinds of wages that other clubs in the top six can, but they’ve been able to maintain their talent core by implementing a system of staged contract and wage improvements and simultaneously providing excellent personal relationships and morale with the players.
Keeping Toby happy is crucial. He was one of the few players who did not sign a new long-term contract in the past year, but that was only because he was already on a long-term deal. However, there’s no question that he’s one of Spurs’ best players, and deserving of a salary that is consummate with the other top wage owners.
In 2022, Toby will be 33 years old and past his peak playing years, which means unless someone comes in with a stupid big bid in the interim, Spurs will have locked him down for the best years of his career. This would be a super exciting development, and I hope it happens.