Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt a huge blow ahead of next season with the news that Jan Vertonghen has suffered an ankle injury which could rule him out of action for up to four months, according to outlets including the Daily Express.
Vertonghen was a important member of the Spurs side which challenged for the Premier League title last season, and the news of his feared absence will come as a nasty surprise for their supporters.
The 29-year-old made 33 appearances for the north London side last season and was a key figure in defence alongside compatriot Toby Alderweireld as Spurs' solid defence proved the backbone of their season.
However, according to reports from outlets including the Express, Vertonghen picked up an ankle injury in training last night which is feared to be serious.
There are initial concerns, although unverified by examination at this stage, that he could be out for around four months, which would see him miss the majority of the first three months of the new Premier League season.
Though Kevin Wimmer stepped up ably last term during Vertonghen's briefer spells on the sidelines, it was the Belgian pair of Alderweireld and Vertonghen who looked to have the most assured partnership.
Spurs are aiming to go one step further next season and win a first league title since 1961, and these emerging reports will undoubtedly put a dent in those hopes.
It may also force Pochettino to move into the market for a defender this summer and attempt to shore his now flimsy-looking options at the back.
Meanwhile, it will also come as a huge blow for Belgium; already missing fellow defender Thomas Vermaelen and with Eden Hazard doubtful, the injury could not have come at a worse time as they prepare to face Wales in their Euro 2016 quarter-final on Friday.