Former England international Paul Robinson believes that Jan Vertonghen has not been enjoying his role at Tottenham Hotspur of late.
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The Belgian has been a regular in Jose Mourinho’s starting 11, but has been moved to left-back for five of their last seven games in the Premier League (Transfermarkt).
He is, of course, a natural centre-back, but with Ben Davies injured and Danny Rose seemingly out of favour he has been asked to play out of position of late.
And Robinson thinks that it is a role that he has not enjoyed playing, pointing to the fact that at 32-years-old he doesn’t really want to be positioned in a wider area where he will be isolated against quick wingers.
Mourinho changed his system in their most recent game against Norwich to a three at the back, moving Vertonghen back inside and playing Ryan Sessegnon as a left-wing back.
Robinson has been speaking to Football Insider about the tactical tweak and insisted that Vertonghen’s struggles at left-back could be a reason why the change was made. He said: “I think he [Mourinho] started with three at the back because of the full-back situation. The full-backs have been a problem all season.
“Vertonghen now, as he’s getting older he’s not enjoying playing left-back, you can see he’s not enjoying playing left-back.
“Vertonghen’s not the answer at left-back long term.”
Robinson is right here, Vertonghen isn’t a natural left-back and going forward he is not the answer for Spurs in that position.
The last game he played there was against Chelsea where he really struggled. Indeed he lost possession 12 times and was dribbled past twice against the Blues, earning a SofaScore match rating of just 6.6.
It may be that when Davies returns to fitness he becomes the first choice left-back, after all, he did start there in Mourinho’s first game in charge against West Ham (Transfermarkt).
But whilst he is absent, it seems more logical for Sessegnon to be given a chance instead of playing Vertonghen out of position, especially given that the Belgian is out of contract at the end of the season (Transfermarkt) and his long-term future might not even be with the club.
Spurs fans, what have you made of Jan Vertonghen’s performances as a left-back recently? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…
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