There is no denying that Jan Vertonghen is a firm fan favourite in the eyes of many of the North London faithful. However, his form has been below par this season and might it be time to question his ability to deserve a place in the starting eleven?
After the manner in which the Belgian left the pitch against Southampton, it was clear that he was deep in thought. He will be 33 in April and finds himself out of contract in the summer.
Is he still good enough for play for Spurs, week in week out?
He is a versatile defender and he might accept that, if he got a new contract, he wouldn’t be a regular, but more likely to come on as a substitute when Spurs need to see a game out for the victory. Also, he would be an excellent person to guide Tanganga as his career starts to develop. Furthermore, he has played the full 90 minutes in 6 of the last 10 Spurs matches, so Mourinho seems to still have faith in him (TransferMarkt). Experience is valuable and perhaps a reduced terms contract extension would give Spurs that for an extra season or two.
However, on the other hand, keeping a player who is no longer good enough for the first team could be detrimental to the rest of the squad, eventually affecting results. He may also stop the progress of other youth players breaking through. Also, Jan is still well-loved by fans, but if his performances did not improve then some may lose this adoration for the player, similarly to how Eriksen left the club.
My Verdict –
I think that Jan deserves one more season. He would only be likely to only start cup games and be used as a sub when needed in the league. He would also deserve a testimonial whether he stays or goes as he has been an excellent servant to the club. I would also love to see him back at the club as a coach when he retires, but I believe he will most likely end up at Ajax.
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