Pochettino: 'Very important' Vertonghen was the best in England

Romelu Lukaku and Jan Vertonghen Belgium

The Tottenham Hotspur boss was responding to criticism from Tim Sherwood.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has defended defender Jan Vertonghen in light of recent criticism from former coach Tim Sherwood.

And the Spurs coach believes the Belgian was the best centre-back in England during his debut campaign at White Hart Lane.

“People can have their opinions but I am very happy with Jan. I am not aware of these comments. I give my opinions in private," he told reporters at a pre-match press conference.

“I think Jan in his first season was maybe the best central defender in England. Maybe last season he was not as good but he is still a very important player for us.”

Earlier, former Tottenham coach Tim Sherwood had said:

"Vertonghen is so poor. Can't move his feet. He can't defend, this guy."

Vertonghen has been one of Spurs' more impressive defenders this season, although he received plenty of criticism for his performance in the north London side's last game, when league-leaders Chelsea thumped them 3-0 at Stamford Bridge.

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