Why Jan Vertonghen chose Tottenham over Arsenal

Jan Vertonghen decide to join Tottenham over Arsenal after Arsene Wenger wanted to play the Belgian international in the midfield, according to ESPN FC.

The report claim Vertonghen had the choice of joining Arsenal as he looked to end his lengthy association with Ajax and move to the Premier League.

The football site report that Wenger felt the 30-year-old was better played to a more advanced role in midfield, which prompted the then 25-year-old to joined Tottenham.

It is a move that has worked out well for Vertoghen, as he has been a mainstay of a young and vibrant side that has been transformed by Mauricio Pochettino.

The Belgian centre-back, who can also be deployed in the left-back role, has registered 213 appearances for Tottenham and has formed an outstanding partnership with his compatriot Toby Alderweireld.

They have both linked up impressively with summer Spurs summer signing Davinson Sanchez in a three-man defence this season.

The Spurs third-captain became Belgium’s record appearance holder on Tuesday night he won a 97th cap in the 4-0 win over Cyprus in Brussels.

The Tottenham centre-half surpassed Jan Ceulemans, a legend in Belgium who helped them to the final of Euro 1980 and the semifinals of the 1986 World Cup.

F/W’s view:

In Arsene Wenger’s defence, it is easy to see why the Frenchman regarded the versatile Spurs defender as better option for a midfield role. His ability to move forward with ball and launch attacks is rare for a centre-back, and it has helped make an ideal team member of Pochettino’s inventive and quick-passing side. However, the Belgian has proved that he is far more effective in central defence than at left-back, where his large frame makes it difficult against speedy and slight wide men. If anything, he is best suited to the three-man defence that Pochettino has used regularly this season. The Belgian is confident on the ball and the presence of Sanchez in the middle allows Vertonghen and Alderweireld to push forward and lay the foundations for attack.

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Donald Stephen is a freelance football writer who knows only slightly less about football than you do. A regular contributor to Football Weeks, the Set Pieces, and others. You can connect with us on – Facebook and Twitter