Mauricio Pochettino says Toby Alderweireld will play for Tottenham before the end of the season but "will have to wait for his opportunity".
The Belgium international has not played a Premier League game since October after spending months out with a hamstring injury and is yet to agree a new contract, with only two years left to run on the four-year deal he signed when joining from Atletico Madrid in 2015.
Despite the contract stalemate and rumours he could leave Spurs in the summer, boss Pochettino insists the 29-year-old is still part of his plans this season.
He said: "We make a drama sometimes over small things. After 14 games unbeaten there is no point talking about the player that has not played and has been injured for a long time.
"Toby is still our player on a two-year contract. I am sure he is going to play before the end of the season, I am sure. He is doing well, he is training. He has to wait for his opportunity.
"Today there is no point talking about this type of situation."
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Alderweireld's former Spurs team-mate Kyle Walker joined Manchester City for £50m last summer but Pochettino hopes he will be given a welcome reception by Spurs fans on Saturday when the two clubs meet at Wembley, live on Sky Sports.
"The fans felt disappointed that he decided to move to Manchester City," said the Argentine. "Sometimes you need a new challenge, a new experience and a new motivation.
"Kyle will, for me, always be a player that did a lot for the club and the club did a lot for him.
"I think the relationship is good with us, with the club and he deserves a good reception.
"I think after seven, eight months that it [the transfer] happened I think he deserves a good reception from the fans."