Jan Vertonghen has been a mainstay at the heart of the Tottenham Hotspur defence over the past few seasons.
The Belgian’s partnership alongside compatriot Toby Alderweireld has been a solid foundation in our progress under Mauricio Pochettino.
This season, however, the 32-year-old is yet to play a minute of Premier League action after finding himself left out of the opener against Aston Villa and only good enough for a place on the bench against Manchester City and Newcastle United.
Pochettino has instead decided to play former club-record signing Davinson Sanchez alongside Alderweireld.
Vertonghen’s omission has certainly raised eyebrows among some Spurs supporters with Pochettino previously stating that there is no issue between himself and the defender (BBC).
Football journalist Alasdair Gold has claimed that there is a history of the pair clashing in training over recent years but nothing to the extent which has stopped the former Ajax man in being involved in his team.
Gold believes that Pochettino will have made his point in leaving Vertonghen out of his side and has gone beyond the justification of a tactical decision.
With Arsenal next up for Tottenham, fans will be eagerly awaiting to see if Pochettino decides to end Vertonghen’s hiatus and includes the experienced defender in his starting eleven at the Emirates.
Gold told Football.London: “Pochettino and the Belgian have regularly clashed in training over the years but the Spurs boss has always counted Vertonghen as one of his trusted generals. He named him vice-captain along with Harry Kane, supporting Hugo Lloris. Vertonghen being left on the bench from the start of the season, and not even featuring against Villa, indicates something has happened, it’s now gone beyond explaining it as tactical particularly with the lack of balance that Alderweireld and Sanchez provide together. Spurs need a left-footed centre-back in their backline and they will need Vertonghen back against Arsenal.”
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