Tottenham supporters have been in fine voice in the Transfer Tavern in the last few hours after seeing their side come from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw with Italian giants Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie in Turin on Tuesday.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men went into their clash with the Serie A champions off the back of beating Arsenal 1-0 in the North London derby on Saturday, a result which stretched their unbeaten run in all competitions to 12 matches. Yet they were made to work to keep that run going in Turin as Gonzalo Higuain gave Juve a 2-0 lead after just nine minutes, only for Spurs to brilliantly hit back through goals from Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen to set them up as favourites for progression when the two sides meet at Wembley in three weeks’ time.
Thus, there have been many delighted Tottenham fans in the Tavern in recent times, although several are getting increasingly concerned regarding the contract situations of centre-back duo Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, both of whom see their current deals expire in 2019, as per Transfermarkt.
The North London outfit have the option of a year’s extension on the former, yet it is absolutely essential that they strike an agreement with the latter as well given how influential and outstanding he has been in the heart of their backline in recent years.
Vertonghen made the move to Spurs back in 2012 and has since been a huge part of their rise up the Premier League table, playing 29 times in the 2015/16 campaign to help them to the joint-best defensive record, before missing just five matches in last term’s league season to help Pochettino’s side concede just 26 goals, the fewest of any team.
The combination of him and Belgium compatriot Alderweireld is arguably the best in the Premier League, but what has been particularly impressive of Vertonghen is that he has stepped up in his fellow centre-back’s absence in recent times.
Alderweireld hasn’t featured in any of Spurs’ last 17 Premier League games, but they haven’t felt his absence given how excellent Vertonghen has been alongside the rapidly improving Davinson Sanchez – the Belgian ace has kept things together in that backline brilliantly to the point that the injured Alderweireld hasn’t really been missed at all.
That is the biggest possible complement one could give Vertonghen given how impressive the two of them have been over the years – he has arguably become Spurs’ most important and influential defender over the last 12 months, especially given Alderweireld’s growing injury issues.
So while Tottenham must do all they can to keep Alderweireld, they also must seek to extend Vertonghen’s contract as well.
Yes, he will turn 31 in April, but he has arguably played better football in the last few years than he did previously to suggest that age is not a problem.
The Belgium star is too big a part of this Tottenham defence for the club to let his contract situation develop possible uncertainty, like it is with Alderweireld’s currently, so they simply must strike an agreement with the defender ASAP.
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