Darren Bent claims that something is not right with Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen after he made his first appearance of the season against Arsenal.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Spurs and England striker says that the Belgian international is part of the best centre-back pairings in the Premier League, alongside fellow countryman Toby Alderweireld, but that he was not up to his usual high standards against the Gunners.
Tottenham took a 2-0 lead at the Emirates Stadium but were forced to settle for a point after Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted for the home side in the second half.
Bent says that Vertonghen was not at his usual high standards against Spurs’ north London rivals and suggests that there has been, and possibly still is, a problem which is affecting his performances.
Bent told Football Insider: “He’s come into a high-profile game, frenetic pace. When he’s fit and playing, him and Toby are the best in the Premier League as a centre back pairing, but he’s not up to scratch, not up to full fitness yet.
“It’s hard to come into a game when you haven’t played for so long. You just don’t know what’s going on. Is he injured, has he been injured? It’s so tough. There’s got to be something going on but for whatever we just don’t know why.
“I’m sure there’s a genuine reason.”
Sunday’s outing against Arsenal was Vertonghen’s first appearance of the season, having been left out of the matchday squad against Aston Villa on the opening day of the season and remaining as an unused substitute for subsequent games.
Tottenham’s first game after the international break sees the Lilywhites take on Crystal Palace before kicking off their Champions League campaign with a trip to Olympiacos.