Alderweireld shares verdict on who should replace Vertonghen in Tottenham team
By Harry Sykes
Toby Alderweireld is confident that Tottenham have a “lot of people” who can step up to fill the hole vacated by Jan Vertonghen in the coming weeks.
Vertonghen is facing a lengthy lay-off with that Mauricio Pochettino admitted was a “bad” ankle injury sustained in Spurs’ 4-0 win over West Brom on Saturday.
The Belgium centre-back was due to undergo a scan on Monday amid fears that he has suffered ligament damage and will be out for three months.
Spurs fans have urged manager Mauricio Pochettino to stick with the system of three centre-backs that has served the team so well in recent weeks.
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Alderweireld believes the solution to replacing his fellow Belgian lies in the current squad rather than in dipping into the January transfer market.
“First of all we hope Jan is not injured too long,” said Alderweireld, as quoted by the Sun. “But if he is injured there are a lot of people who can play in his place and bring the level he brings. People will have to step up.
“We will see over the next couple of days and hopefully it is not too bad.”
Despite the confidence of Alderweireld, the loss of Vertonghen for an extended period is a major blow as he has been an integral member of the Premier League’s meanest defence in the last two seasons.
The centre-back has also looked extremely comfortable in the new 3-5-2 formation used by Pochettino in recent weeks, alongside Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld.
Tottenham, who climbed to second after Saturday’s triumph, have conceded just 14 Premier League goals, the best record in the top flight.
In other Tottenham team news, a striker has signed after Spurs agreed terms.