The agent of Ajax defender Toby Alderweireld has confirmed that Everton are interested in signing his client. Rumours re-surfaced over the weekend of Everton’s interest in the Belgium international with Martinez sending his scouting team to check on the centre back in Ajax’s opening league fixture of the season.
Speaking to the Belgium newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen, Alderweireld’s agent Soren Lerby spoke openly about his clients future.
“It’s true that Everton have made an approach for Alderweireld,”
“But there are other concrete options(including Liverpool). Toby will now have to decide which team he sees as the biggest challenge.”
It is certainly an interesting development, as it had previously been thought that Everton would look to secure the signature of Alderweireld on a Bosman free transfer next summer, although the level of competition would sure to be significant. Norwich City have already agreed a £6.5 million fee earlier in the summer, but were unable to convince the ambitious Alderweireld to commit his future to Carrow Road. Everton would be reluctant to pay such a large transfer fee, but may be willing to offer Johnny Heitinga in part exchange, with the former Ajax superstar also out of contract in 12 months’ time and currently assessing his options.
Toby Alderweireld is the latest of the Golden generation of Belgium footballers to be linked with a move to the Premier League and would become the third to play for the Toffees alongside Fellaini and Mirallas. His international colleagues, Vincent Kompany, Jan Vertonghen, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Mousa Dembele, Thomas Vermaelen and Simon Mignolet have all adapted well to the English game and Alderweireld would appear to have all the attributes to succeed.
At 6 foot 1 inch tall, the Ajax academy graduate is equally adept at Centre Back or Right Back. After making his debut in January 2009 he has gone on to make just fewer than 200 appearances for the Dutch giants and has accumulated 24 international caps for Belgium. His attributes would appear to be very similar to Heitinga, with a strong physical presence and a good range of passing highlighted by Dutch journalists as his main strengths. He is also a scorer of some great goals as the YouTube video at the bottom of the page highlights.
Everton do have an abundance of central defenders at present which would make a move an outside possibility, but with Heitinga looking for a move away from the club, Alcaraz nursing an injury and Distin nearing the end of his career, Martinez will need to consider refreshing his defence in the near future.