According to Calciomercato, Jan Vertonghen is nearing a Tottenham Hotspur exit this summer. The defender has now become a subject of interest from a host of clubs in Italy, including Fiorentina and Napoli. His current contract expires at the end of the season, meaning he will be available for free in the summer.
That has also alerted Serie A giants AS Roma and Inter Milan and we could potentially witness an interesting transfer saga. But, could the departure of Vertonghen serve as a massive blow for Spurs?
Jan Vertonghen’s rapid downfall at Tottenham
Tottenham Hotspur clearly haven’t enjoyed the best of seasons, especially from a defensive perspective. They have struggled due to lack of proper leadership and consistency from their defenders. Their most experienced centre-back is Vertonghen. But, he has suffered from several fitness problems, finding it difficult to get the nod ahead Davinson Sanchez.
Jose Mourinho has utilised Vertonghen at left-back, at times, as an alternative for the injured Ben Davies. However, the emergence of Japhet Tanganga, as well as the return of Davies, has reduced his chances of getting regular minutes. And it seems to have taken a bad toll on the Spurs defence overall, with the Lilywhites clearly lacking the presence of a reliable and composed defender at the back.
Even when Vertonghen has played, however, the veteran defender has looked out of pace and rather inconsistent. And his overall fitness has also declined rapidly over the past 12 months. Hence, there is no wonder why Spurs are unwilling to extend the Belgian’s contract this season.
What’s next for Jose Mourinho’s side?
Tottenham would require a massive overhaul in the defensive department and finding a proper replacement for Vertonghen should be the first priority. There are a lot of players on the market, who have shown promise and could be capable of filling in his shoes in north London next season.
Marash Kumbulla, for one, has been one of the rising stars in Serie A this season. Much like Vertonghen, he is a ball-playing centre-back, known for his technical and positional awareness. The Albanian also boasts an imposing figure of 1.91m, potentially making him an ideal fit at Spurs.
In any case, it seems Tottenham Hotspur will be needing more than just one new defender in the summer, especially with Mourinho seemingly intent on employing a three-man backline. And while signing a Vertonghen replacement should be on the agenda, Mourinho might also look to make decisions on the futures of Eric Dier and Juan Foyth.
Overall, it will be an interesting summer transfer window for Spurs fans as they look to usher in a new era under Mourinho in the near future.