Why Tottenham must go all out to maintain Jan Vertonghen’s services
Tottenham clicked into gear in the second half as they defeated Aston Villa 3-1 on the opening day of the season.
Tanguy Ndombele cancelled out John McGinn’s effort and a brace from Harry Kane ensured they won the points.
There were some absentees from the game with Dele Alli, Ryan Sessegnon and Juan Foyth missing all carrying knocks.
However, Jan Vertonghen wasn’t in the first XI and he didn’t seem too happy sitting in the stands.
Mauricio Pochettino was asked about the Belgian’s exclusion and the Argentine provided an interesting take (h/t Football.london):
“My decision today was to play Toby. If the players didn’t play today, they need to work hard to get their opportunity.
“With all the players fit you struggle to find a starting 11.”
Pochettino also claimed that he would only start players who deserved it but former Spurs star Rafael van der Vaart believed Vertonghen might want an exit from the club (h/t Football.london):
“It was strange that he was not in the squad. Maybe something happens and he said he wants to go.
“When he’s fit, he’s a hundred percent a starting player.”
Vertonghen had spoken prior to the season, claiming that he was happy at Spurs but did not know if he was going to get another contract extension (h/t Evening Standard).
The 32-year-old has just one year left on his deal and Spurs should provide him with another extension.
Tough to find a star like Vertonghen
The Belgian is one of the best in his position and still has a couple of quality years left in him. The 32-year-old can also play as a left-back, which provides Pochettino with a different option to play the former Ajax star.
Vertonghen has always given it his all for the club and Spurs need to give him a contract extension and keep him.
Tottenham have faced similar contractual problems with Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld, as both players will also be free agents at the end of the current season.
Spurs would be unable to find a quality defender to replace Vertonghen, given that the transfer window has closed. His experience is another bonus for the team.
The Belgian might have struggled with some injuries in the previous campaign but he can do a good job alongside either Toby Alderweireld or Davinson Sanchez.
Juan Foyth is also out for a while with an ankle problem, and the last thing Tottenham need is to be light in the centre-back positions.
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Vertonghen hasn’t made any noises about wanting to leave and Spurs need to keep their best players in the team.
Handing a one-year extension to Vertonghen is the minimum Spurs could do and there are few defenders of his quality in the Premier League.