By Harvey Byrne

Mauricio Pochettino was full of praise for star defender Jan Vertonghen after he returned from injury on Sunday against Fulham.

The 29-year-old missed his side’s last six matches in all competitions following a malleolar injury he suffered against West Brom in January.

The versatile Eric Dier filled in well for the Belgium international during his absence from the side, but it is extremely difficult to show the same qualities as what Vertonghen brings to the team.

Vertonghen played the full 90 minutes against the Cottagers in the FA Cup fifth round and Pochettino was clearly delighted with his return to the team.

“When a player gets an injury and works and focuses on trying to recover as soon as possible and shows that they are professional – that’s what happened with Jan,” started Pochettino in an interview on the official Tottenham Twitter account.

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“He looks sharp, he looks fit and I’m happy. Jan deserves the praise, he’s showed that he’s a great professional.”

Vertonghen has played in 26 matches in all competitions for Tottenham this season alongside fellow countryman Toby Alderweireld in the back four.

The duo have helped form a very impressive back line and in the league they have the joint best defensive record with just 18 goals conceded from their 25 matches.

Tottenham will face both Gent and Stoke at White Hart Lane over the next seven days and the return of Vertonghen will certainly boost them as they look to turn around the one goal deficit against the Belgian side.

In other Tottenham news, Spurs fans reacted on Twitter to the FA Cup draw against Millwall.

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