Tottenham Hotspur is set to be without influential center back Jan Vertonghen for quite some time.
On Tuesday the north London club sent out the following message about the 28-year-old Belgian center back, as Vertonghen was involved in a collision with Crystal Palace striker Connor Wickham during Spurs’ 3-1 win on Saturday.
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Wickham has since been charged with violent conduct by the English FA as he elbowed Vertonghen in the face and as the Belgian defender fell to the ground he landed awkwardly.
A scan in Barcelona — Spurs are currently on a quick training trip in Spain — revealed he has suffered damage to the medial collateral ligament in his left knee.
Vertonghen will be out for at least five to six weeks but other estimates believe it will be closer to eight weeks out for the man who has forged a formidable partnership with countryman Toby Alderweireld at the heart of Spurs’ defense.
The Belgian duo have been imperious this season with Spurs possessing the best defense in the Premier League, conceding just 19 times in 23 outings.
Without Vertonghen, manager Mauricio Pochettino has a few options to fill the void. Austrian center back Kevin Wimmer, 23, is most likely to slot in alongside Alderweireld, while Eric Dier could drop back from his new role as a holding midfielder and back into central defense.
Whatever way you slice this up, a serious knee injury to Vertonghen is not what Tottenham would have wanted at this pivotal stage of the season as they sit just five points off the top of the Premier League and are in with a real shout of challenging for the title.
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Vertonghen is set to miss some key games as he’ll definitely be out of the trip to Manchester City on Feb. 14 and could be touch-and-go for the clash against north London rivals Arsenal on Mar. 5.
Looks like Spurs top four (and title) hopes just took a big hit.