We can cope without Alderweireld, says Pochettino

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Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino believes Jan Vertonghen is one of the best defenders in Europe, comparing the Belgian to his new dog. How can you be like this?'

He has since developed into one of the Premier League's best centre-backs and Tottenham are sure to demand a huge fee for the Belgian, likely to rival the £75m Liverpool paid for Virgil van Dijk in January. "You are going into a battle, no?'" he said.

The Tottenham boss revealed how he had to motivate the Belgium global defender to show more positive body language when he first arrived at the club. You have to show that you are ready to fight.

"Now he realises that he is so strong mentally", he added.

Manchester United and Liverpool fans have been placed on red alert with the news that Tottenham have made a decision to to cash in on Toby Alderweireld.

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Pochettino has already recruited 20-year-old Argentinian Juan Foyth in the hope he will prove to be more than a squad player, although he has yet to make his Premier League debut.

Pochettino has relied on the 30-year-old to help guide Davinson Sanchez after he arrived as a £42million club-record signing from Ajax last summer. Now he is a complete defender'.

Now it is his Belgium team-mate Vertonghen who is regarded as the first pick when it comes to the back line, and results have not suffered while Davinson Sanchez, the 21-year-old Colombia global has deputised for Alderweireld, who is a doubt for Sunday's trip to Crystal Palace after pulling up in training on Thursday. "It's up to him but he could play until he's 40 because his physical condition comes very naturally to him".

"And for me he is this type of player, I think I told you in my book, I put him next to Ronaldinho, Maradona, Okocha - players that I was lucky to play with".

The Belgian worldwide, who has been one of the most consistent defenders in the Premier League in recent years, is yet to agree a new contract at White Hart Lane/ Wembley.