Alan Hutton claims that behind-the-scenes issues led to Jan Vertonghen’s lack of game time for Tottenham before his departure.

The former Spurs and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes that the Belgian’s contract stalemate led to Jose Mourinho keeping him out of the starting XI for all but one game since the Premier League restart.

Tottenham confirmed on Monday that the 33-year-old, along with goalkeeper Michel Vorm, had left the club at the end of their deals in north London.

Vertonghen only started the 0-0 draw against Bournemouth in the Lilywhites’ final nine games of the season, while he was an unused substitute for five of those matches.

Hutton admits it is a crying shame the centre-back’s Spurs career has ended in a damp squib and believes issues behind closed doors led to him being left out.

Hutton told Football Insider: “It’s been a shame coming towards the end – he’s been there seven, eight years so for it to end the way it did, there’s obviously something gone on.

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“Maybe he’s been asked to sign a contract and he’s not fancied it or whatever and Mourinho’s not decided not to play him towards the end, which is a shame.

“When Alderweireld and Vertonghen play together and they’re on top form, they’re probably one of the best pairings in the league. I think there’ll be plenty of teams waiting to snap him up.” 

Vertonghen made 315 appearances for Tottenham across all competitions, with 232 of those in the Premier League.

Mourinho has the likes of Davinson Sanchez, Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier and Japhet Tanganga to call upon at centre-back ahead of next season.

In other Tottenham news, Darren Bent has delivered his first-hand verdict on talks at Spurs.

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