Toby Alderweireld has spoken of his happiness at Tottenham and discussed his reasons behind signing a new contract and committing his future to the club.
The Belgian international ended speculation over his future by penning a new deal last month, resigning with the North London side until the summer of 2023.
The 30-year-old was widely tipped to leave the club after entering the final months of his contract, however, admits his loyalty to Spurs after four-and-a-half seasons and the impact of new manager Jose Mourinho were key factors in his decision to stay.
Alderweireld has started each of Mourinho’s 12 fixtures since his arrival at the club in November, and the defender admits the chance to work alongside the two-time Champions League winner influenced his decision to recommit to the club.
“That’s a thing that helped me stay as well,” Alderweireld told The Sunday Telegraph. “And after five, six years with the previous manager, with a lot of respect to him, maybe to give a different wind, that helped a little bit.
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“I want to say full respect for Pochettino. He brought me here. He made me a lot better. I’m forever grateful for what he did for the club and for me.
“It was not because of another manager that I signed. It was all the circumstances together. People think it’s only on the pitch, or the new manager.
“There were a lot of things involved with it. First of all, your family. I talked to my wife and about my family situation, a second kid on the way. First of all, I asked my wife: ‘What do you want?’ She said, ‘I’m happy to stay,’ – she loves it here – ‘but you can choose whatever you want.’
“The more I thought about it, about maybe a new episode somewhere else, the more I thought, ‘No, I just want to stay.’ I’ve always been happy here.
“I think I have a very good connection with the fans. Then you see the club, where it was when I came and where it is now: it’s a big difference.
“Financially as well, the club made a good effort that showed me they really wanted me so that gave me respect. I could maybe earn a lot more somewhere else, but then I chose loyalty, that’s worth something as well.
“Then, of course, the last step was the manager, who really believed in me. I had a good connection with him from day one.
“At the end, when I think back, there wasn’t really a doubt to stay.”