Tottenham Hotspur's Jan Vertonghen has hinted that he would be prepared to open contract talks to secure his future at White Hart Lane, but there must be questions over whether he deserve a new deal.
Spurs tried to sort Vertonghen's contract situation out over the summer, as they see him as a key player for the future, but the Belgian rejected their advances - with the likes of Barcelona linked with making a move.
Now he appears more settled, and the links have died down, the versatile defender has suggested that an improved contract would be something he would be prepared to discuss, but by offering him one Spurs could be sending out the wrong message.
Although Vertonghen unquestionably remains one of the finest players at the club, he has struggled to reach the level that he did during his first-season in North London ever since.
Vertonghen was named in the PFA Team of the Year for the 2012/13 campaign, but his stock has fallen somewhat since after a series of mediocre displays.
The 27-year-old has been shifted out to left-back and played alongside numerous centre-half partners over the past two seasons, which hasn't been conducive for him finding his best form, but he must take some responsibility for his struggles.
Although it would be wrong to suggest that Vertonghen has been poor over recent times, it would also be incorrect to say he has been the stand-out player for Spurs that a player of his talents should be.
There has been a sense of mediocrity around White Hart Lane for too long and offering Vertonghen a reward for his middling form could risk suggesting that the Lilywhites are happy to accept this.
There is no rush to get the Belgian international's contract sorted, with his future until 2018 still committed to White Hart Lane. Spurs are in little danger of losing him unless they receive a satisfactory offer.
Tottenham, therefore, may be better off waiting for Vertonghen to earn an improved deal by reaching the top of his game, rather than giving him one at the first possible opportunity.