Vertonghen: 'I wanted to be in the bundle at end of West Ham win'

Tottenham star hopes to feature in Europa League opener, his first game since returning from World Cup duty.

Tottenham's 27-year-old Belgium international is finally set to return to the Spurs first team, after he and his fellow World Cup players travelled to Cyprus for this week's Europa League game. And for Vertonghen, the chance to pull on the Lilywhite shirt again can't come soon enough.

Vertonghen featured in every game for his nation in Brazil, as the Europeans lost 1-0 to eventual finalists Argentina in the quarter finals.

After the tournament, the centre back revealed he had been carrying an injury during the tournament and was only looking to get fit for the new season ahead of a big year at White Hart Lane.

Ahead of Thursday's game with AEL Limassol, the player told the Haringey Independent he hoped to be fit enough to face the Cypriot League runners up.

"I have had a couple of good sessions the past couple of weeks together with the other World Cup guys and I hope to be ready for Thursday," Vertonghen said.

“It is the manager’s choice, of course, but I hope I can play and that I am allowed to play.”

Vertonghen went on to comment on Saturday's last minute win over London rivals West Ham, where new signing Eric Dier scored an extra time winner to sneak the fixture 1-0.

Having failed to beat the Hammers last season, the Belgian was disappointed to have missed out on the joy of such a match winning moment, specifically highlighting the celebrations at the end of the game.

“I was very happy the team and it was a shame I wasn’t there. I really wanted to be in the bundle with the team at the end.

“They did very well to win the game; West Ham away is a very difficult place to go especially with ten men for a long part of the game."

The former Ajax captain may feature alongside the 20-year-old acquisition from Sporting Lisbon, though it is likely Mauricio Pochettino will keep an eye on Sunday's home game with QPR when deciding how much playing time Vertonghen gets.

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