It was a pretty eventful transfer deadline day for Saints with the club leaving it as late as possible to announce their new players.
The first through the door last night was Belgian international defender Toby Alderweireld on a season long loan with option to buy deal from Atletico Madrid. Alderweireld was part of Atletico’s La Liga winning and Champion’s League runners up squad last season and it is somewhat of a coup to see him arrive at St. Mary’s.
Capable of playing at both centre half and right back he not only provides vital cover but also the ability to take the club up a level in defensive terms.
It’s came from nowhere, but this seems to be a very good signing for Saints. What can we expect from Alderweireld?
KT ‘Alderweireld is a strong, determined central defender with an excellent long pass. He can also play as a right back. Despite the fact that he’s not the tallest, he’s strong in the air and a threat on set pieces. He likes too tackle too. ‘
Any specific strengths and weaknesses?
KT ‘Strengths: His presence, his long ball, his tackle, his treat on attacking set-pieces.
Weakness: he’s not the quickest, and both at Atlético and Ajax he was sometimes caught out of position and made some errors. Although he has a good long ball, he’s not the most accurate passer either, like the other Belgian central defenders in the PL.’
Do you think he will be able to adapt quickly to the Premier League?
KT ‘With his determination and tackling he’ll win hearts easily. He has the capacities to turn his hand to the English game.’
With the outgoings at Saints this Summer, many have suggested there is a lack of ‘ambition’ at the club. Does this signing refute that?
KT ‘Well, it’s only a loan. Alderweireld was linked to Arsenal a lot, but the interest was never concrete. Neither with the other big teams. Because he’s Belgian everyone is jumping on the bandwagon as the next big thing. But as a central defender he will always be behind Kompany or Vermaelen in the national team.’
So there we have it. Saints first of two deadline day players sounds like someone with a big future in the game. Thanks to Kristof for his time. The lowdon on Sadio Mané coming soon…..