Toby Alderweireld insists he has not been distracted by speculation about his Tottenham contract and feels fitter than ever after recovering from his “one in a million” injury.
Alderweireld’s long-term future at White Hart Lane came under scrutiny last week when leaked documents suggested the defender’s contract contained a £25.4million release clause.
Tottenham, however, were quick to deny the existence of any active clause in Alderweireld’s current deal and the Belgian says he is settled in north London.
“I signed for Tottenham for a reason and I love to play here,” Alderweireld said.
“I see no problem there. Whatever has been written, I am only focusing on football because that is what I love to do.”
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 13, 2016
Alderweireld made his first start in eight weeks on Sunday as Tottenham lost 1-0 to Manchester United and his return has come as a major boost ahead of the busy Christmas period.
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino had initially hoped the 27-year-old would return within a fortnight but his knee injury proved more complicated than expected.
“It was an unusual injury, one in a million. It almost never happens in football,” Alderweireld said.
“I got a hard knock on the nerve on the right side of my knee, so the nerve was shut down. All of my leg was shut down.”
Alderweireld added: “I knew that when the nerve started working normally again, I had to be able to play as quickly as possible, and that was my motivation.
“I feel fit, even better than I did, and I’m hungry to help the team. It felt good to be back on the pitch against CSKA Moscow and Manchester United.
“I worked hard for it. Sometimes these things can happen but now I think I am 100 per cent.”