Jan Vertonghen has stolen Thomas Vermaelen's powers

How else can you explain the form of Arsenal's Belgian defender since his compatriot's arrival in North London with Tottenham?

Jan Vertonghen is turning out to be one of the signings of the season, and in a less than vintage year for centre-backs in the Premier League it will be somewhat of a travesty if he is overlooked for the Premier League Team of the Season.

He slotted in seamlessly with Spurs since signing in the summer, having been at one stage a target for Arsenal.

Watching him this campaign there cannot be many who would rather have Thomas Vermaelen instead of him, even if making such a statement would have been described as none other than 'bold' last summer.

Vermaelen was the star defender of Arsenal, scoring six goals last season in the Premier League despite missing a couple of months at the start through injury.

This year he has been a shadow of his former self, failing to score a single goal for the Gunners since being made captain, and has recently been dropped by Arsene Wenger as a result.

Vertonghen on the other hand has scored five Premier League goals for Spurs, eight in total, while Vermaelen's only goal came in the defeat to Bradford in the League Cup.

While the possibility of Vertonghen being a real life superhero who has come to London and stolen the superpowers previously held by Vermaelen are remote, the way he is playing make such a ridiculous assertion appear believable.

He is performing with the confidence Vermaelen showed when he signed for Arsenal, dominating at the back, leading his teammates, and striding forward to join the attack with Beckenbauer-esque qualities.

Now Vertonghen may well hit a speed bump in the road at some stage with his own loss of form, but right now he is the top Belgian defender in North London.

The fortunes of the two does have it's own tale to tell on the international scene. 

For Belgium despite the form of Vermaelen, the Arsenal centre-back remains ahead of Vertonghen in the pecking order.

Vincent Kompany is the top choice central defender, and when he made his return at home to Macedonia last week, Vertonghen found himself shunted to full-back to accommodate Vermaelen alongside the City defender.

If Vermaelen is not careful, he may find it is not long before his Spurs rival pushes him aside for the coveted central defensive spot for his country.

What do you make of the two players' contrasting seasons? Who is the better defender?

image: © mikehamm

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