Alderweireld: No regrets over Atletico
Belgium international Toby Alderweireld says he is missing his old life at Ajax but does not regret joining Atletico Madrid.
• On the Move: Transfer blog
Alderweireld was a regular for Ajax as they won the Eredivisie title last season, but he has played in only 10 of 30 games for Atletico after opting to move to the Spanish capital for an undisclosed fee in the summer.
The centre-back, who was also reported to have attracted Premier League interest, has been unable to dislodge first-choice pairing Miranda and Diego Godin but told Dutch station Sport-1 he would try to prove his worth to boss Diego Simeone.
“The coach continues to choose the same starting XI, so I will keep fighting for a place,” the 24-year-old said. “I do not think it is my fault [not to be playing often].
“I cannot feel 100 percent happy when I’m not playing and I feel like I deserve to play more. I’ll do what I can in training and in the games I do play, but we are doing fantastically well.”
Alderweireld said that, while he was happy he made the move, he was still following the Dutch champions from afar and missed the club.
He said: “I miss Amsterdam. I played for Ajax for nine years and you realise what you had when you no longer have it. I miss the Ajax style of play and my ex-teammates, but I don’t regret the move. The fact is that I cannot simply forget Amsterdam and I will continue to follow Ajax.”
Having already featured for Ajax this term before moving to Spain, FIFA rules dictate that Alderweireld’s only option to play more ahead of next summer’s World Cup would be to return to his former club. Simeone is unlikely to countenance such a move, even on loan, given his lack of other cover in defence.