Tottenham senior player makes admission: I barely speak to Alderweireld
By Harry Sykes
Jan Vertonghen has revealed that he barely speaks on the pitch to fellow Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld.
Vertonghen explained the fellow Belgium internationals have an almost telepathic understanding as a result of their lengthy association for clubs and country.
The centre-back duo both joined the Ajax academy in their teens before graduating into the first team of Holland’s biggest club and were re-united at Tottenham in the summer of 2015.
“We don’t speak that much on the pitch,” Vertonghen told the Spurs matchday programme, as quoted by Football London.
“We always say a couple of words before the game, how we’re playing against this striker and that maybe we have to be careful of this or that. That’s how we go into a game and the rest just feels natural.”
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“We’ve played so many games together – it feels like I’ve probably played more games with Toby than without him if you include the national team.”
Alderweireld, 28, moved to Ajax from Belgium at the age of 15, while Vertonghen, 29, did so at the age of 16.
“Toby, since the day I met him in the Ajax first team, has always been a very grown up player.” Vertonghen added in the programme. “Even back then when he was almost 20, he was very grown up. Obviously he’s improved a lot and it’s a pleasure to play alongside him.
“Because we have the same education in football, we know how we want to play and how to protect each other. It feels like we’ve been playing together for 20 years.”
The all-Belgian pairing have developed into one of the finest centre-back partnerships in the Premier League during their time at Tottenham.
They are expecting to start at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace on Wednesday night, when second-placed Spurs are back in league action and will attempt to bounce back from their shattering FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea on Saturday.
League leaders Chelsea host Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday as they aim to extend the gap at the top to seven points for at least 24 hours.
In other Tottenham news, the club have sensationally terminated the contract of one of their emerging stars.