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Alderweireld reveals how 'unbelievable man-manager' Mourinho talked him out of Spurs exit

02:03 GMT 29/02/2020
Toby Alderweireld Tottenham 2019-20
The Belgium defender believes that the former Chelsea and Man Utd man has a special knack for getting the best out of players

Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld admits that his U-turn over leaving Spurs was down to the presence of Jose Mourinho - whom he hailed as an "unbelievable man-manager". 

Alderweireld's contract was due to expire at the end of the 2019-20 season and, with Mauricio Pochettino still at the helm, there seemed to be little prospect of the Belgium international staying on. 

Pochettino's sacking at the end of 2019, however, opened the door for Mourinho to take over, which proved a turning point for the defender. 

He used the example of a madcap dash through Europe after the birth of his son in order to be available for Spurs' clash against Aston Villa in February as proof of the 'Special One's' unique motivational skills. 

"For me Jose Mourinho is an unbelievable people manager, someone who you want to travel eight hours by road to play on a Sunday after your son is born," Alderweireld, who signed a fresh deal with Spurs in December following Mourinho's arrival, said to the Daily Mail

"That’s the feeling you get, the feeling I have for him. You don’t want to disappoint him.

"I guess it looks like I am happier now because the former manager left and I signed a deal. But I was happy back then as well.

"There were a lot of things going on behind the contract but I’ve always been happy at Spurs and will always do my best for Spurs.

"The more options I got the more I had to choose what I wanted and I was just like: 'I want to stay at Spurs'.

"With a second child on the way I just wanted to stay and when the new manager came in he just asked me if I wanted to sign.

"After that the process went a little bit quicker because he did some things.

"I don’t know what the club’s tactics were. But when Jose came in it moved a bit quicker."

While he was reluctant to openly criticise Pochettino, Alderweireld did admit that being frozen out of the first team in the middle of his contract stand-off was hard on him.

"It always hurts when you are left out," he added.

"The manager never gave me any reasons. But I understand that.

"I am not the guy who knocks on his door and says: 'Hey, what about me?'. I think that is very selfish.

"Let’s be honest, he brought this club to the next level and I am grateful for what he did for the club. I think everyone is.

"I just always thought - again it sounds like arrogance - that I will show I deserved to be in the team, and that’s what I did."

Mourinho's Tottenham side are back in action on Sunday, when they continue their quest to break into the top four with a home clash against Wolves.