Vertonghen: I’m not signing a new Spurs contract
PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 September 2014 | UPDATED: 09:21 26 September 2014
Jan Vertonghen says he has no plans to sign a new contract at Tottenham and will stick with his current deal – but he insists he is happy at the club.
The Belgian, who is already tied to Spurs for another four years, stated at the end of July that he had been offered a new five-year contract.
However, Vertonghen has now announced that he is not penning a new deal.
“I am not signing, no,” he said. “We agreed not to. Why? I would prefer not to say. I still have four years left. I am happy at the club and I think they are happy with me. That’s where it ends.
“I am very happy. We have a good manager, we have a good team and a lot of good players. The squad is very big and you have to work hard to play every game, and I hope I am playing again soon.
“It is good [under the new manager]. He is working well with a lot of videos and individually he talks a lot with the players. He is a manager who expects a lot from players. We work hard and that is good - it will pay off in the end I think.”
Vertonghen has, somewhat surprisingly, been selected in Tottenham’s second-string side in the last couple of weeks.
While the 27-year-old missed the league match against Sunderland on September 13 due to a slight injury, he started last week’s Europa League match against Partizan Belgrade in Serbia and last night’s Capital One Cup tie against Nottingham Forest while being rested for the league match against West Brom in between – which Tottenham lost.
Given that Mauricio Pochettino has been making 10 or 11 changes to his side between cup and league games to keep his players fresh, Vertonghen could now sit out Saturday’s north London derby at the Emirates.
The defender said: “I hope I play every game, in the weekends and midweek. I want to play in the biggest games - that is what you are a footballer for.
“We have got a lot of centre-backs now with [Federico] Fazio and Eric Dier, who is doing very well. Obviously Vlad [Chiriches] and Younes [Kaboul] played at the weekend and we are fighting for two places with those guys. Everyone has to be just that little bit better so the manager chooses them.”
Asked if the amount of changes between matches has made things difficult in the defence, Vertonghen said: “We [Fazio and I] played together last week [in Serbia] as well but it is a bit difficult because we want to show ourselves to the manager to play again at the weekend.
“It is not that big a change I think. They are all good players, we play the same system. I think sometimes you need to adapt a bit but in the end it is quite simple.”
Tottenham looked like they were heading for a third successive home defeat last night as they trailed Championship leaders Nottingham Forest – who fielded a heavily weakened team – 1-0 in the Capital One Cup with 20 minutes to go.
However, Ryan Mason came off the bench to score his first goal for the club and Roberto Soldado put Spurs ahead in the 83rd minute before two more substitutes combined, with Erik Lamela playing in Harry Kane to make it 3-1 in the final moments.
Vertonghen reflected: “They [Forest] did well. They used the right tactic to wait for our falls [in possession]. It was difficult until the first goal but then we were a bit more enthusiastic and direct so I’m glad we won.
“They were just waiting and it was just difficult for us because we didn’t want to fall into that trap. It was quite hard but when we had the extra striker up front we tried to force something and it worked out well.
“When we play against teams who want to play, it is better for us because then our possession can be more of an influence. In this game it is just like waiting for a skill or an individual quality, but I think we kept the ball better and pressed better so I think we are improving.”
Tottenham’s reward in a home draw against another Championship outfit, Brighton, in the fourth round of the League Cup.
Vertonghen said: “It is good that we have a home game - that was important for us. It could have been worse but, like this game, we have to be careful and play at our best.”
Tottenham’s immediate concern now is this weekend’s north London derby against Arsenal at the Emirates, where they have lost the last four meetings – including two defeats last season in the league and FA Cup.
“It is a very good team,” said Vertonghen. “They have got a lot of good players and I think they have improved every year since I came here.
“They have got a very good team at the moment with the pace they have got up front with [Danny] Welbeck, who I think is a very good signing, and Alexis [Sanchez] as well. “They have got a lot of creativity and movement and they are just one of the best teams in the league and very difficult to beat, especially at their ground.”
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