Manchester United went poaching for Toby Alderweireld in the summer, but Pochettino had other ideas. Then they went after Harry Maguire but Leicester City had other ideas. So in the end, Mourinho had no other option other than stick on with the centre-backs he has at his disposal.
So should Mourinho go for Toby Alderweireld in the winter transfer window? Will he be an upgrade over Chris Smalling? Let’s have a look.
In the modern day game, stats do play a huge role in assessing a player. So below is what the stats say about Toby Alderweireld and Chris Smalling.
To everybody’s surprise, Chris Smalling dominates Toby Alderwireld in the stats game.
When it comes to Tackles per game and tackles success percentage its Alderweireld who wins the game. Toby boasts a tackle success percentage of 77% and 1.37 tackles per game while Smalling has 70% tackle success percentage and 1.28 tackles per game.
When it comes to clearances per game, Smalling has 5.98 per game while Toby has 5.87 per game. In the Aerial duels section too Smalling overtakes Alderweireld quite comfortably. Smalling has 2.85 aerial duels won per game while Toby has just 1.38. In the interceptions per game too, Smalling is clearly the winner. Smalling records 1.67 interceptions per game, while Toby has a respectable value of 1.16.
Smalling is more vulnerable to get booked as he records 0.86 per game while Alderweireld has only 0.35 fouls per game.
Why should Manchester United sign Toby Alderweireld?
With most stats favouring Chris Smalling over Toby Alderweireld, why should Manchester United sign Alderweireld?
The truth is in many cases stats can be misleading. Despite boasting some excellent stats, there are many departments in which Smalling is way behind Alderweireld. When it comes to decision making you would want Toby in your defence. Smalling makes silly mistakes which will cost your team the game. Many at times, Manchester United have suffered due to Smalling’s lack of awareness.
We can see Chris Smalling caught out of position many times. Couple that with his lack of awareness, Smalling can leak points for the team.
So final verdict: Sign Toby Alderweireld and use Smalling as a bench warmer. Despite 29, Toby can be a great asset to any team.