Mauricio Pochettino believes that Toby Alderweireld must continue to keep working harder to regain his place back in Tottenham Hotspur’s starting-eleven.
The Belgian has yet to feature for Spurs in the Premier League since October having suffered a hamstring injury during the club’s 3-1 win over Real Madrid.
It is understood that Alderweireld is set to be sold in the summer with Mauricio Pochettino unhappy with the defender refusing to sign Tottenham’s final contract offer.
Despite completing 90 minutes for Belgium during the international break, Alderweireld will remain sidlined for Tottenham’s trip to Stoke on Saturday.
“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.
“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.”
Alderweireld’s replacement list
Meanwhile, Tottenham have begun their planning for the summer transfer window with a replacement for defender Toby Alderweirled seemingly required, according to the Telegraph.
Pochettino is set to sanction the sale of Alderweireld in the summer, with the player refusing to sign a new contract.
On Pochettino’s list of replacements is Newcastle United’s Jamaal Lascelles, Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt and West Bromwich Albion’s Jonny Evans.