Jan Vertonghen’s omission from the match day squad against Aston Villa has generated a lot of controversy over the past week.
Mauricio Pochettino, in his press match press conference on Friday dismissed suggestions of a personal rift with Vertonghen or that he was unhappy with Vertonghen’s fitness during pre-season (Football.London).
The Tottenham manager claimed that it was a footballing decision and that the 32-year-old could return to the team against Manchester City this evening.
However, former Spurs midfielder Jermaine Jenas is not convinced. He has suggested that the whole situation is strange and even claimed that he wouldn’t be surprised if the Belgian international was to depart in the next two weeks.
Speaking to BBC Sport, Jenas said : “You have the situation with Vertonghen being left out of the squad completely on Saturday, which was very strange. Reading between the lines, it would not surprise me if he left in the next couple of weeks.
“Even if Vertonghen stays for now, he and Alderweireld are both into the final year of their contracts, and both over 30. They have been mainstays of the club for several seasons now but there is a chance neither of them will still be there this time next year.
“So, this is a process that doesn’t stop and, come January, Spurs need to have a plan.
“Otherwise they could be in a position where they need to make several signings in the same area of the team in the next summer window, which is exactly the scenario they want to avoid.”
The former England international also opined that while Spurs had good options at left back, right back could be an area of worry for the Lilywhites this season after the departure of Kieran Trippier.
He added, “I am not sure Ryan Sessegnon is going to turn out to be left-back, but Spurs already have Ben Davies, who is decent, and [Danny] Rose too. If they can get Rose focused, then he is still one of the best left-backs in Europe.
“I am more worried about the right-back position after losing Kieran Trippier to Atletico Madrid because Pochettino does not seem to have much faith in Kyle Walker-Peters and things have not worked out for Serge Aurier.
“It already feels like defence is not the strength it was for Tottenham a couple of years ago – they lost 13 Premier League games last season, which is a concern.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Even if there was a rift between Pochettino and Vertonghen or if he was unhappy with the player’s fitness levels, the Argentine isn’t the type of person to discuss it with the media. However, I think too much has been made out of the Vertonghen situation and I fully expect the 32-year-old to start against City.
Have something to tell us about this article?