Toby Alderweireld has complete faith in Kevin Wimmer's ability to fill the void left by the injured Jan Vertonghen in Tottenham Hotspur's defence. Former Ajax teammates and Belgium internationals Alderweireld and Vertonghen have struck a formidable partnership at the heart of defence this season, with the north London club boasting the best defensive record in the Premier League this term.
That partnership was broken however when Vertonghen limped off during the club's 3-1 win over Crystal Palace on 23 January. The centre half suffered damage to the medial ligament in his knee, an injury that has seen him miss the club's last two games and could rule him out for up to two months.
Wimmer, a summer signing from FC Cologne, has impressed since stepping into fill in, however, and Alderweireld insists he does not have to babysit the 23-year-old when playing alongside him.
"He is not a child who has come to play," Alderweireld was quoted as saying by the Evening Standard. "I did my job when Jan [Vertonghen] was playing and that has not changed with Kevin. Of course, I try to help him, but he has played a lot of games in the Bundesliga."
After starting in the 4-1 FA Cup fourth round victory over Colchester on Saturday 30 January, Wimmer helped Tottenham seal a clean sheet on his full debut for the club in the 3-0 win over Norwich City on Tuesday.
Prior to Vertonghen's injury, the Austria international was linked with a return to the Bundesliga after Schalke confirmed their interest in signing the centre half. Clemens Toennies, Schalke's chairman, told Sky Germany, according to Sky Sports in January: "We have talked to Carlos Zambrano of Frankfurt – but we decided not to sign him. Now our focus is on Kevin Wimmer and John-Anthony Brooks. We are in advanced talks with both of them."