Tottenham have confirmed that Belgian defender Toby Alderweireld has left the club to seal a transfer to Al-Duhail in Qatar.
The centre-back leaves as one of Spurs’ current longest-serving players. Indeed, he moved to north London in 2015 from Atletico Madrid and made 236 appearances in all competitions. After previously outlining an interest in returning to Belgium, though, he has decided to move to the Middle East.
In a video posted on Tottenham’s Twitter account, the 32-year-old said: “I want to thank you for everything in the last six years.
“It’s been an unbelievable road for me, it’s been an honour to play for Spurs.
“From the moment that I arrived, I felt home, I felt welcomed and it was a pleasure to play for this club and for the badge.
“I wish you all the best for the future and I’m sure we’ll meet again.”
A statement from Spurs on their official website added: “We wish Toby all the best for the future.”
Alderweireld initially caught Tottenham’s eye during a loan spell with Southampton in the 2014/15 season.
As a result, then-boss Mauricio Pochettino – who had managed the Saints before Spurs – signed him in summer 2015.
From there, he formed a solid partnership at the back with fellow Belgian Jan Vertonghen. In fact, the pair helped Spurs qualify for the Champions League in 2015/16.
Thereafter, Alderweireld was largely responsible for Tottenham conceding only 26 goals in the 2016/17 Premier League campaign.
He also played his part in Spurs’ run to the Champions League final in 2019, where they lost to Liverpool.
All transfer change at Tottenham
Alderweireld is the second player whose exit Spurs announced this week.
Erik Lamela has moved to Sevilla as part of the deal which brought attacker Bryan Gil the other way.
Lamela, like Alderweireld, was a long-serving star at Tottenham having signed in 2013.
Meanwhile, former Atalanta goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini has boosted the north London club’s ranks.
The moves are part of new boss Nuno Espirito Santo’s mission to reshape his team ahead of his first season in charge.