Tottenham’s hopes of winning Saturday’s North London Derby have been handed a huge boost after Toby Alderweireld has declared himself fit to play.
The Belgian defender has been out of action for three months with a hamstring injury, but made his return to first team action in Wednesday nights FA Cup replay against League 2 Newport County.
The 28-year-old managed to play the whole 90 minutes during that game, and has now declared himself ready to face Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and co in Saturday’s crucial North London Derby.
Speaking about his injury, he told the Independent:
“It was a proper hamstring injury and the risk of re-tearing it was very big, that’s why we had to take our time and work very hard to get the muscles to be ready for this kind of game, and to play a lot of games again.
“It was a difficult period for me but on the other hand it was three months. In a football career that’s not that long. I’m 28 and I’m happy that I never head a knee injury or something a lot worse.
“Of course three months is difficult but it could have been even longer. We worked hard to be very clever, doing the right things. We didn’t start training too early.
“It was unfortunate because there was a pull in the tendon as well, it just took time. That was a goal in my head – to come back as quickly as possible and strong again. It was a difficult period mentally but if you have a goal in your head that’s what you work for every day.”
The defender also reserved special praise for Arsenal’s new £57m signing, Abameyang:
“Everybody knows he is very quick and he is a good finisher, so you have to work your mind.
“You know one against one on the same line he will beat you so you have to be very clever, read the situation and then try to beat him with your head.
“He has it all and is in a good moment now as well so it is going to be very difficult to beat them but we will be ready for it.”