The Belgium international has reiterated his desire to play at centre-half, and his club would be wise to listen….
With Danny Rose and Kyle Naughton struggling with injuries and failing to inspire Andre Villas-Boas sufficiently to warrant a regular place at left-back, it has been down to Jan Vertonghen to fill the full-back role this term.
Tottenham’s Belgian defender is more than adept at playing in the position, and has plugged a potential problem area for the White Hart Lane outfit.
His attacking merits and positional play have been strengths while he has played at left-back, but his body language has been clear – he wants to play at centre-half.
Vertonghen has been vocal in his desire to shift position once more, which the north London club should act on.
“We have had some injuries on the left of defence at Tottenham this season, and it has often been down to me to fill the gap,” he told reporters while on international duty with Belgium.
“Tottenham pay my wages, so I have to accept it, but it doesn’t suit me, and the club know how much I want to play centre-half.
“I think I have done enough to deserve a place there now, ideally for every game.”
Vertonghen is undoubtedly Tottenham’s best defender and one of the top in English football at the moment. Spurs would be boosted as a defensive unit by signing a left-back and playing the former Ajax man in the middle, and need to action this in the new year.
Keeping someone of Vertonghen’s calibre happy and playing well is in Tottenham’s best interests, and if continues to feature out of position it could even hurt his chances of playing centre-half for Belgium.
As such, a new left-back must be the priority come the January transfer window, with links to the likes of Fabio Coentrao and Luke Shaw continuing to present themselves in the press.
With Vertonghen as a key figure in Spurs’ chances of clinching a top-four berth, he will be best utilised as a centre-half. This would also nullify the lack of pace in the heart of the rearguard that has been apparent at times this term.
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