Belgium coach Roberto Martinez: Toby Alderweireld needs playing time at Spurs
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has warned Toby Alderweireld that his place in the side at this summer's World Cup could be under threat if he remains overlooked at Tottenham Hotspur.
Alderweireld came through 90 minutes as Belgium beat Saudi Arabia 4-0 in Brussels on Tuesday -- his first appearance since Spurs' 2-2 draw with Rochdale in the FA Cup on Feb. 18.
The centre-back has only featured twice for his club since returning from a long-term hamstring injury in late January and he suffered a setback at the end of last month.
Spurs' have at least 10 more matches this season but Alderweireld's hopes of returning to the team have been hampered by his ongoing contract impasse with the club.
"Every player needs to get a really good period of football now," Martinez is quoted as saying by the Guardian.
"Seven weeks is not a lot of time. Certain players that play a lot of minutes, the playing time now is not essential. But other players who have not played that much, and Toby can be one of those -- it is important.
"But what you see with Toby is that urgency and the defensive, natural habit of intercepting any threat around him. I saw him really sharp during the camp and [against Saudi Arabia] it was great to see that he was really strong in the last 15 minutes physically. And he lasted 90 minutes in a really good way."
Alderweireld has won 68 caps for Belgium and he has been a mainstay in the side under Martinez.