Many Tottenham Hotspur fans were left surprised when Jan Vertonghen was left watching the Premier League opener against Aston Villa from the stand at the new stadium for the match against Aston Villa.
The Belgian was only named as a substitute for the following matches against Manchester City and Newcastle United with Mauricio Pochettino deciding to name a central defensive partnership of Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez.
Vertonghen was recalled to the starting eleven against Arsenal on Sunday after Pochettino reverted to a back three.
Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has claimed that Pochettino’s decision to leave out the experienced defender can only mean that there was a disagreement between the pair.
Whelan admits that he rates Vertonghen as a better defender than Davinson Sanchez.
Pochettino told the media after the win against Aston Villa that there was no issue with Vertonghen, with Whelan believing otherwise that something happened behind the scenes (BBC).
Whelan told Football Insider: “There’s been a fall-out at the training ground, or something’s happened at the training ground,”
“That’s the only explanation, really.
“Pochettino has showed plenty of times he’s not afraid to leave out the big names if there are issues. He’s done it with Alderweireld, Danny Rose and he’s done it with Christian Eriksen this season.
“If everything is okay, there’s no way a fully fit Vertonghen wouldn’t be in the team. He’s a far more reliable defender than Sanchez and his right-foot, left-foot partnership with Alderweireld is one of the best in the league.
“I’m a massive fan of Vertonghen. He’s been a class act for a long time.”
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