Tottenham kicked off their Premier League season in the perfect way last weekend – but the absence of Jan Vertonghen was by far the biggest talking point from their 3-1 victory over Aston Villa.
The 32-year-old, who is usually a guaranteed starter next to Toby Alderweireld in Spurs’ back-four, was surprisingly not named in the squad to face Dean Smith’s side at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday, leaving the majority of fans puzzled, given he played the first-half against Inter Milan the previous week and didn’t appear to be carrying an injury.
Mauricio Pochettino later revealed that he will only pick players that ‘deserve’ to play, before admitting that Vertonghen’s fitness levels were not up to scratch in pre-season as his reason for starting with Colombian international Davinson Sanchez instead.
Vertonghen was understandably angry at his decision, but the defender looked far from angry in the photo below as he joined his Spurs teammates at Hotspur Way for training as they prepare to face champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening – and the Belgian is expected to return to the matchday squad.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 15, 2019