Jan Vertonghen on the midfield pecking order at Tottenham Hotspur

Mousa Dembele

The Belgian also gave his thoughts on Mousa Dembele's best position.

Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen has dismissed claims that Mousa Dembele is the fifth choice central midfielder at the club and suggested what he believes to be the Belgian’s best position.

This Saturday’s draw with Liverpool saw Dembele start his first game since lining up against Everton on August 29th.

His powerful yet composed display reminded everyone of just how good a player he is and provided a welcome boost to Spurs’ midfield options.

The 28-year old was deployed in a more advanced role before his injury – as one of the three behind Harry Kane – due to a lack of alternatives for Mauricio Pochettino at the time, but his performance against the Reds suggested central midfield should be his primary position.

Ryan Mason and Eric Dier were fantastic together as the two in midfield, before the former’s injury, and Dele Alli then stepped in to partner Dier to great affect.

With Dembele back in the frame and Mason and Nabil Bentaleb due to follow suit, Spurs now boast an abundance of riches for those two deeper midfield roles.

The emergence of the Lilywhites’ young midfield talents may have pushed Dembele to the back of many people’s minds but Vertonghen is in no doubt as to his importance to the team.

“I don’t know if he’s fifth choice but he’s been injured for weeks and in that time players like Eric Dier and Dele Alli have been outstanding for us,” said the defender, in an interview with the Ham & High.

“I don’t think he’s fifth choice but he came in as that one now and he was unbelievable… on Saturday he showed he’s one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.”

When everyone is fully fit, Pochettino will have a difficult tasking picking a best XI and identifying Dembele’s main position will be key to that.

“Is that (central midfield) his best position? I won’t go into that discussion because it might come back to me later, but I think he’s an unbelievable midfielder, he has all the qualities to play there,” added Vertonghen.

“He’s so strong – there’s no-one stronger on the ball than he is - and he’s great for us. I hope he stays fit for us now for the rest of the season so he can keep improving.”

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