Plenty of Tottenham Hotspur fans would have been surprised when team news filtered through last night and Emmanuel Adebayor was named as captain against Sheffield United.
The London Evening Standard reported earlier this month that the striker was reportedly in talks with Parma over a move to leave White Hart Lane, but he now seems set for a stay over the second half of the season.
The player arguably most affected by the decision to make Adebayor skipper last night wasn’t Harry Kane or Roberto Soldado, who started on the bench, but someone who started in the heart of the back four; Jan Vertonghen.
The Daily Telegraph ran a report last year, which detailed how the Belgian defended had been overlooked when Mauricio Pochettino named Younes Kaboul as his captain and Hugo Lloris as his vice-captain, with Adebayor also named as a backup skipper.
The Telegraph debated how he could take the move personally and with his contract due to expire at the end of next season (according to transfermarkt) he may now be accepting that he won’t be Spurs captain if he signs a new deal.
With no reports of fresh contract talks in sight, Spurs need to be very careful over the way Vertonghen reacts to being overlooked for a second time in favour of a player who was tipped to leave the club only a couple of weeks ago.
Vertonghen is a professional and will always give everything he has for the side, but away from the pitch and on a personal level he may well feel a little bit let down by the club.
Two opportunities to be captain have passed by and although Adebayor was named as vice-captain earlier in the season, it’s debatable whether he’s done enough to step forward and take control of the team out on the pitch.
Vertonghen may feel he has a greater right.