Stats: Does Jan Vertonghen have to start for Spurs?

Romelu Lukaku and Jan Vertonghen Belgium

Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen has only made two Premier League appearances so far this season, but does he need to start regularly?

Tottenham have conceded six goals in their last three Premier League matches and Sunday's 1-0 loss at home to West Bromwich Albion was a highly disappointing result.

Mauricio Pochettino's side started the season so well with two wins and two clean sheets in their opening games, but have not won since.

Belgian defender Vertonghen has only played in two games - the 4-0 win against QPR and the 3-0 loss to Liverpool, and he may need to start more regularly in the league, rather than in Europe.

He has not looked as good a player since his first season in England, but he is still a highly talented player, and if given regular football in his preferred central role, he will surely shine once more.

The 27-year-old started against Partizan Belgrade last Thursday alongside Federico Fazio but neither made it into the lineup against the Baggies on Sunday.

Younes Kaboul and Vlad Chiriches started at the back for the second consecutive league game but failed to impress, and Pochettino may need to reassess his options in the heart of the defence.

  TeamPosAppsGoals Tackles Won / appsAerial Won / appsInterception / appsFouls / apps Blocked Shots / appsEffective Clearance / apps
Younes Kaboul Spurs DF 5 0 1.00 1.60 2.60 0.40 0.40 6.00
Vlad Chiriches Spurs DF 2 0 1.00 0.50 5.50 2.00 0.50 3.50
Jan Vertonghen Spurs DF 2 0 1.50 1.50 2.00 0.50 0.50 3.00

Recently appointed first-team captain Younes Kaboul has played in every minute of Spurs' Premier League campaign so far, and has partnered both Chiriches and Vertonghen twice.

Eric Dier started alongside Kaboul for the first game of the season at West Ham, but moved to right-back after Naughton was sent-off, and the 20-year-old has remained at full-back since.

Vertonghen has won more tackles per game than both Kaboul and Chiriches, and wins an average of at least one more header per appearances than the Romanian defender too.

Chiriches has made an impressive number of interceptions, though he lets himself down by committing an average of two fouls per game.

Looking at the statistics from the season so far, Vertonghen should be starting at the back for Spurs on a weekly basis in the Premier League, alongside Kaboul or perhaps Fazio if the tall Argentine is given a chance.

Fazio and Vertonghen looks like a strong partnership on paper, and Pochettino may have his priorities wrong at the back when it comes to choosing who plays in what competiton.

Spurs will likely shuffle their lineup once again for the Capital One Cup game against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night, but Saturday's game against Arsenal will be a real challenge and Pochettino may need Vertonghen in the heart of his defence for that crucial game.


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