Tottenham given huge boost ahead of league opener v Everton
By Tom Blackburn
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed that defender Jan Vertonghen will be fit for their league opener.
The Premier League season kicks off this season, with Spurs travelling to Goodison Park to face Everton on Saturday.
Vertonghen’s availability had been in doubt after he suffered ankle ligament damage at Euro 2016.
“Good news, Jan Vertonghen is ready,” Pochettino said on Thursday, as quoted by the London Evening Standard. “Last week was perfect, he trained with the group.”
Fans had hoped for the early return of Vertonghen after a video released via the official Tottenham Twitter account on Tuesday showed Vertonghen involved in a high-intensity passing drill at the club’s Enfield headquarters.
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Confirmation from the manager that the Belgium defender is back came after he missed his country’s Euro 2016 quarter-final defeat to Wales in June following the injury sustained in training.
The initial four-month prognosis would have seen Vertonghen sidelined until November, but he has recovered ahead of schedule.
The 28-year-old missed three months of the 2015-16 season after damaging his knee ligaments in January and, although Spurs coped well in his absence, Mauricio Pochettino demonstrated his faith in the centre-back by immediately reinstating him in the team when he was fit.
Vertonghen is one of only three senior centre-backs at the club, along with countryman Toby Alderweireld and Kevin Wimmer, and the north Londoners were already in the market for a new defender as they don’t want to rely on Eric Dier to cover from midfield.
Centre-back Federico Fazio was joined Roma from the club on a loan-to-buy dealat the start of August.
The Argentine defender, 29, has joined initially on a season-long loan that will cost Roma £1million.
In other Tottenham news, Jamie Redknapp names his Premier League best XI and leaves out a Spurs ace.