By Coral Barry

Danny Murphy believes Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld are special defenders because they can pass the ball just as well as midfielders.

The Tottenham duo have been the heartbeat of the Premier League’s most feared backline this season and Murphy has suggested that it is their passing ability that sets them apart from other centre-backs.

Spurs went down 2-1 to Southampton on Sunday, but Murphy praised the passing range of Vertonghen and Alderweireld during the game.

“Jermaine [Jenas] and I were talking while watching the game, about how good they are at this and how as midfielders it helps so much knowing you have defenders with such good passing ability,” said Murphy speaking on Match of the Day 2.

“Yes they can defend, they’ve proved that, but this is the type of passing you expect from someone like me [as a midfielder].

“Every time they play out from the back they [Tottenham] end up with a chance.

“One area of the pitch Tottenham won’t be looking at in the summer [to strengthen] is centre-backs.”

Murphy went on to say that the duo could inspire the Belgium team in the upcoming European Championships in the summer, while he expects England’s centre-backs, Chris Smalling, Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka to find it tough at the tournament.

The former Tottenham player said: “It really helps when they’re two good players, but if you look at our national team for example, we got three centre-halves who all prefer to play on the right hand side.

“That causes a problem. I think none of our players are suited to the right side, but one of them will have to take up that role.”

In other Tottenham news, Murphy has warned Mauricio Pochettino Spurs fans may not like his dismissal of the Arsenal rivalry.