Jose Mourinho has spoken about his decision to bring off Jan Vertonghen during the FA Cup fourth round replay against Southampton.
The Belgian central defender’s number appeared up on the fourth official’s board in the 54th minute with Mourinho replacing him with Gedson Fernandes.
Vertonghen looked crestfallen as he exited the pitch behind Hugo Lloris’ goal in front of the north stand and took his time walking back to the substitutes bench.
Once the 32-year-old took his seat among his team-mates, he appeared to be deep in thought and distressed by the decision.
Mourinho confirmed that Vertonghen was not injured and instead admitted his decision was purely tactical.
He told Football.London: “No injury. I had a feeling in the first half that I needed to change to a back four but it was a question of waiting to be able to bring on Dele. Like a chess game with no bishops or kings. Missing so many pieces. I had to change and I decided to leave Tanganga and Toby, a bit faster and better to cope with space. I sacrificed Jan. So sad but happy now.”
"I haven't spoken to him yet but I don't need. He's very intelligent, he's a professional."
— Charlie Eccleshare (@CDEccleshare) February 5, 2020
The former Ajax man has been a rock at the heart of the Spurs defence for over 300 matches but with his contract running out at the end of the season, I can only fear that his time in North London could be coming to an end.
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