Rumoured Arsenal target Jan Vertonghen is reported to have confirmed his preference of playing for our rivals.
Arsene has already signed one of his targets this summer in Lukas Podolski and there are reports indicating that a deal for Yann M’Vila isn’t far off. The third player that Arsenal has been heavily linked with is the Ajax skipper, but the following comments seem to imply he is going to push for a move to Spurs.
The Metro has these quotes from Vertonghen:
“I owe much to Ajax, I have always given my whole heart and soul for them. My appreciation for the club and the fans is great.
“It would be terrible if my departure would be a long and distorted situation as Ajax would keep asking for a great price “till the bone”. Of course I want Ajax to become financially better, but the amount Tottenham are willing to pay, maybe with a little bit extra, is very reasonable.
“In a year from now I could leave the club for free. I hope Ajax are aware of it as the situation of Maarten Stekelenburg’s transfer was very harsh. He only arrived at the end of pre-season at AS Roma. I want to flow in fluently, directly with the other Spurs players.
“Tottenham is a fantastic traditional club who play football in a way I like. Ajax was the perfect club for me, but Spurs will be very close in nearing that already. They buy young, eager and offensive-minded players.”
He is clearly trying to force a move, perhaps because he has heard that Ajax will hold out for more money. But there also no doubt that he wants to go to Redknapp’s side, and the Tottenham manager has already intimated his desire to buy Vertonghen.
People are saying that the reason behind Vertonghen’s choice is more playing time, which is probably partly true. At Arsenal, he would probably sit behind Koscielny and Vermaelen in the pecking order. In addition, Mertesacker brought a calming influence to our defence, so I (and many others) would put the German ahead of the Belgium international.
Vertonghen can also play in defensive midfield, but with the potential signing of M’Vila, the Ajax man wouldn’t get many chances at Arsenal in the centre of the pitch.
Spurs has a Gallas and Nelsen who are both nearing the end of their careers, and a regularly injured Ledley King. Signing Vertonghen would be a great move for them. We must also not forget that Spurs are now far more attractive in terms of transfers than they used to be. They have a good manager, some great players and have been pushing for Champions League football for a few years.
So there should be no hard feelings if Vertonghen does choose Spurs over us – it’s not indicative of a ‘power shift’ in London, nor that they have more money than us. It is likely that the choice is based on footballing reasons, and the fact that Wenger won’t enter a bidding war for a player that we don’t really need.