Toby Alderweireld admits that he would consider returning to Ajax one day, but does not want to wait until his career is nearly over before doing so.
The Belgian defender came up through the ranks of Ajax’s world-famous academy and played 186 times for the Dutch side between 2008 and 2013, before moving on to Atletico Madrid.
He never settled in Spain but has found a home in the Premier League, impressing on loan at Southampton before joining Tottenham in 2015. His impressive performances for Spurs have drawn interest from Manchester United, and the Red Devils may vary well tempt him with a move to Old Trafford in the January transfer window.
Tottenham face Ajax’s Eredivisie rivals PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League on Wednesday and Alderweireld told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that he would consider returning to the Netherlands in the future.
“Never say never,” said the 29-year-old, quoted by the Evening Standard. “At this moment in my career I don’t think about that yet. I think I can go on for years at this level. If I ever did, it is not to take it easy.
“I do not want to be 36-years-old and can hardly walk. When I return, I certainly want to leave something. And not only in the dressing room.
“Of course it is close to home in Belgium and I have a bond with the club, because I played football at Ajax for eight years. Achieving championships, the third star, experience.”
Wednesday’s match at the Philips Stadion, and the return leg at Wembley, are crucial for Tottenham as they bid to open their Champions League account following defeats to Inter and Barcelona.