By London correspondent Tony Hughes
Kevin Wimmer was axed from the Tottenham team for Sunday’s win over Manchester United because Jan Vertonghen has more to offer, according to Mauricio Pochettino.
Wimmer was replaced in the starting X1 by fit-again Vertonghen for Spurs’ convincing 3-0 win at White Hart Lane as the Belgian slotted straight back into the team following a two-and-a-half month absence.
The 23-year-old Austrian had done little wrong in the 15 matches in which he stood in for his senior team-mate but lost out after the Spurs manager deemed Vertonghen fit enough to play.
Pochettino admitted the selection was tough on Wimmer.
“Yes, when you need to pick between both players who are very good the difference is that Jan is a lot of time in the club, he is an international player and a leader of the team,” Pochettino told Sky Sports’ Super Sunday programme.
“Kevin is very young. We signed him to try and develop and improve his game. He has played a lot and played very well. He was very important and a different player, but when you need to decide it is always unlucky for someone. Only 11 players can start the game and when 12 or 13 players deserve to play, it is hard but it is football.”
Vertonghen slotted back in alongside countryman Toby Alderweireld as if he had never been away.
Three goals in the space of six barely believable second-half minutes from Dele Alli, Toby Alderweireld and Lamela handed the north Londoners all three points against United and kept alive the team’s slim title hopes.
Spurs have narrowed the gap on leaders Leicester to seven points, although they face an uphill challenge to overcome the leaders, who won 2-0 at Sunderland earlier on Sunday.
In other Tottenham news, Moussa Dembele names three fringe players that are just as good as the regulars.