Former Middlesbrough and Coventry City forward Noel Whelan has claimed that Jan Vertonghen’s head is not in the right place at the moment due to the situation with his contract.
The 32-year-old’s contract with Tottenham Hotspur runs out at the end of the current campaign and he has previously revealed his desire to extend his stay (Daily Express).
However, the jury is still out on whether the Belgian international will be handed a new deal as some of his performances this season have been well below par.
His displays showing against Norwich and Southampton in Spurs’ last two games have left a lot to be desired and Whelan insists that the drop in Vertonghen’s performance levels was down to the pressure of playing for a new contract.
While he spoke highly of the defender’s quality, he insisted that he needed to prove to Jose Mourinho that he was still good enough at the top level.
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan said, “I don’t think any players’ head can be right when you’re in limbo with a contract, you know you’re about to leave the club.
“For Vertonghen, it’s crunch time. He either leaves or he signs a new contract. I don’t know what Mourinho wants from this kid, there’s not too many centre-halves with that quality but he’s certainly not showing it at Tottenham at the minute.”
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Unfortunately, there have been clear signs this season that Jan is starting to deteriorate and so I worry that he will never be the player he once was. However, I certainly wouldn’t put it beyond the 32-year-old to prove his critics wrong by getting back to the level we know he can play at.
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