Belgium boss Roberto Martinez issues World Cup warning to Toby Alderweireld

Martinez issues warning to Alderweireld
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Belgium boss Roberto Martinez warns Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld that his place at the World Cup could be under threat.

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has warned Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld that he is in danger of losing his World Cup place.

The 29-year-old has struggled for game time at the North London outfit since November due to injury and fitness issues.

After returning to action in February following a three-month layoff, Alderweireld has played just twice for Spurs - both outings were in the FA Cup.

On Tuesday night, the centre-back played the full 90 minutes of Belgium's 4-0 victory over Saudi Arabia in an international friendly, but Martinez feels that he still has a way to go ahead of this summer's World Cup in Russia.

"Every player needs to get a really good period of football now," The Guardian quotes Martinez as saying. "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's future at Tottenham remains unclear as he is yet to sign a new contract at the club.

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Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen catches Mario Gotze in the face during their Champions League Group H clash with Borussia Dortmund on September 13, 2017
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