Tottenham is set to be without one of its star defenders for at least the next two months, if not longer.
The club revealed that after closely monitoring Jan Vertonghen, the centerback’s hamstring injury will keep him out until December. Vertonghen suffered the injury on September 29 against Huddersfield Town and while it was initially thought he would miss just one month of action, it looks as if it will be a much longer spell on the sidelines.
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Vertonghen had already been left off Belgium’s squad for its upcoming UEFA National League match against Switzerland and friendly next week against the Netherlands.
Vertonghen’s injury may be in part to burnout after a short summer break. The Belgian international started and played the full 90 minutes in all six of Belgium’s matches at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and then turned up ready for action in Tottenham’s season opener against Manchester United on August 11, less than a month after his last game with Belgium.
Having Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez fit softens the blow a little for Mauricio Pochettino, but Alderweireld’s fitness history is suspect and there may need to be rotation between UEFA Champions League, domestic cups and the Premier League. Vertonghen is expected to be back in full training by December, so if the team can survive, they’ll have a rested and healthy star coming back at a key point in the season.
If Pochettino wants to look deeper on his bench, there’s 20-year-old Argentine defender Juan Foyth, England U-20 star Kyle Walker-Peters and Eric Dier can also drop back and play in central defense if needed.