Features

Profit Players: Jan Vertonghen

Profit Players: Jan Vertonghen

Tottenham supporters have been pretty upbeat in recent times after seeing their side pick up a fourth consecutive Premier League victory at the weekend.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men went into their London derby with West Ham at the London Stadium having beaten Brighton, Huddersfield Town, and Cardiff City in their previous three matches, and were thus full of confidence ahead of their trip across the capital on Saturday. And Spurs returned to North London with all three points as an Erik Lamela header just before half time sealed a 1-0 success for Pochettino’s team, thus keeping them just two points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Thus, there have been many delighted Tottenham fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom will be hoping that their side can indeed improve as the campaign goes on, even if they didn’t bring in any new additions during the summer months.

Unsurprisingly, the club’s hierarchy were slated for their inactivity during the close season, but they certainly came up trumps back in the summer of 2012 when they sealed a £9.5 million deal for defender Jan Vertonghen.

The Belgium international made the move to the North London outfit to link up with manager-at-the-time Andre Villas-Boas, and that transfer masterstroke pulled off by the ex-Spurs and Chelsea chief has without doubt provided Pochettino with a Tottenham lynchpin.

Ultimately, Vertonghen had begun his career at Dutch giants having come up through the youth ranks at the Eredivisie outfit, eventually going on to play 220 times for the club before joining Villas-Boas’ Spurs back in 2012.

And the 31-year-old has since been an absolute revelation in the heart of the Tottenham backline in helping them become one of the best sides in the Premier League, as well as one of the best teams defensively in the English top-flight.

The Belgium international was a regular feature under Villas-Boas in the 2012/13 season and then again the campaign after under a mixture of the Portuguese and Tim Sherwood, but it was following Pochettino’s arrival in the summer of 2014 in which Vertonghen ascended to become one of the best defenders in the Premier League.

The 31-year-old helped Spurs to a sixth place finish in Pochettino’s first season in charge before helping lay the foundations for a title push the campaign after, with the North Londoners eventually finishing third behind Leicester City and Arsenal, a season in which they had the joint-best defensive record in the division.

They went one better the season after in finishing second behind champions Chelsea but also in finishing as the lowest conceders in the Premier League, with the outstanding partnership of Vertonghen and compatriot Toby Alderweireld playing as big a part as any in that success.

And even in the latter’s absence at times last season, it was Vertonghen who led by example in striking up a formidable partnership with the younger more inexperienced Davinson Sanchez – the Belgian ace has simply been brilliant throughout his time at the club.

And credit must go to Villas-Boas and the club’s hierarchy for sealing a relative cheap £9.5 million deal for the centre back six years ago, with that masterstroke providing Pochettino with a Spurs lynchpin.

Tottenham fans… what do you think? Let us know!

Football Writers' Association: Opening the Door to BAME Journalists
Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
To Top