New transfers - Jan Vertonghen


After a relatively long wait Spurs announced Andre Villas Boas (AVB), indeed an expected candidate, their manager last week.

Many of us thought AVB would first try to resolve the Modric issue followed by Adebayor and then maybe think of Van der Vaart, but instead he signed a defender from Ajax, Jan Bert Lieve Vertonghen.

The 25-year-old has spent the entirety of his career at Ajax, bar a season on loan to fellow Dutch club RKC Waalwijk in 2006/07.

He broke through to the Ajax first team in 2008/09 only after his Belgian colleague Vermaelen moved to Arsenal.

He was voted the Eredivisie Player of the Year for 2011/12, helping Ajax to their 31st title by playing his part in a defence that kept 11 clean sheets over the course of the season. He was also voted Ajax’s player of the year.

Vertonghen was linked with a move to Newcastle United, and later he was also linked with Milan, stating:

“I’ve heard Milan director Adriano Galliani talk about me after the Champions League match in San Siro and his words were very flattering.”

Eventually Tottenham did succeed in luring him to White Hart Lane from a route on which Vertonghen also snubbed Arsenal.

Vertonghen is a left-footed player who usually plays as a centre back. He is equally adept at playing anywhere on the left side or in defensive midfield and frequently joins in the attack from his centre back position.

Although playing as a defender, Vertonghen is well known for his offensive prowess and powerful shooting ability. Some of his teammates at Ajax say his left foot is a hammer!

People who have watched a fair bit of the Dutch league must have seen him running through the midfield and taking shots on the goal quite often.

He is an awesome reader of the game with total authority on the ball both while attacking and defending.

He began as a midfielder but he mostly played at centre back for Ajax where in 155 appearances he scored 23 goals.

During his loan spell with RKC Waalwijk, he contributed 3 goals, but was unable to save the club from relegation at the end of the season.

Vertonghen has also made 37 appearances for the Belgian national squad, scoring twice.

He doesn’t seem to be injury prone or bookings prone. Over the past three seasons with Ajax, he’s garnered 19 yellow cards and no red cards in league games.

In 2011, Vertonghen came second in a vote for ‘The Biggest Arsehole’ in football amongst readers of Dutch Magazine Voetbal International. He came second to PSV striker Ola Toivonen.

Might well be due to the enmity towards Ajax in the Netherlands from people who, well, don’t support Ajax. Kind of like the enmity towards John Terry in England. But assumedly without the racism and questionable moral standards that Terry engenders.

Vertonghen as a Fantasy Premier League (FPL) pick

With a decent manager signing and a couple of good players along with the retention of Gareth Bale, it can easily be said that Spurs will be aiming for a top 4 finish at least, if not go for the title.

Though Chelsea did concede a lot under AVB, one would expect AVB to start where he left FC Porto and be solid at the back.

With King and Dawson not certain to start the season, we could well see Vertonghen starting alongside Kaboul on the left side of the defence.

With the quality that Spurs have in their team, you can see them dominating the weaker teams which would generate scoring opportunities for the attack-minded Vertonghen.

Well, you can indeed dream of having him as defender and actually starting as a midfielder.

AVB said:

“Jan is tremendously experienced and can play in a number of positions, which is another thing we look for in the way we build our squad.”

When Tottenham have a free kick from a decent position he will certainly be in contention to take it.

Also if Van der Vaart stays, his pin-point deliveries can help the towering head of 6.2 Ft Vertonghen to gain some FPL points.

With Tottenham playing WBA, NOR, rea, QPR in their first 5 Gameweeks, a clean sheet should not be hard to come by. So he is not one to be ignored if he starts his FPL journey around the 6.5m price tag.