Friday saw Tottenham fans jumping for joy at the return of Jan Vertonghen to first team training after his injury layoff, but Mauricio Pochettino must break their hearts if he is to guarantee success for the club this season.
Spurs took to Twitter to confirm that the 30-year-old Belgian enforcer had made the step up to returning to action after an ankle injury kept him out of two games, and the update left supporters absolutely delighted on social media.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) March 2, 2018
However, a report from the London Evening Standard has claimed that Vertonghen is fighting a battle to be fit not just for Saturday’s clash against Huddersfield, but also the midweek Champions League showdown with Juventus at Wembley, and that Pochettino might choose to rest the centre back to have him available for the European outing.
Without a doubt this is what the Argentinian manager must do if he wants to guarantee some success between now and the end of the season.
Vertonghen is a key member of the Tottenham squad not just for his exceptional defensive skills, but his manner and leadership skills at the heart of the back line, commanding and marshalling his own team mates as well as defending from the threat of the opposition.
It is this which makes him such a talent when it comes to the big games, and when it comes to a Premier League outing against Huddersfield or a deciding tie against Juventus in Europe, there is no contest.
If there is any risk of fielding the Belgian against the Terriers, it must be a no go for Pochettino, for missing one game to ensure his availability for more important matches is worth it.
It might be a huge disappointment for the supporters to wait for Vertonghen’s return, but their broken hearts will be quickly fixed when he is out on the pitch leading the Lilywhites to success.