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Telegraph claims Vertonghen set for month-long layoff?

The ankle injury the Belgian sustained in the latter stages of Fulham looks to be a bit worse than we'd hoped.

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Alex Livesey

Christmas is almost upon us, and in the traditional holiday spirit of complete and total selfishness, the festive season has decided to take Jan Vertonghen away from us, with the Telegraph reporting he'll be on the sidelines for up to a month.

This news obviously won't be music to the shell-like ears of manager Andre Villas-Boas, who had just started to get his team in to a vein of good form going in to a tough run of games which starts with a home faceoff against a high-flying Liverpool side and culminates in a January NLD in the FA Cup.

Luckily, Etienne Capoue demonstrated against Sunderland on the weekend that he can slot in at centre-back without hurting anyone or scoring any own goals, which in ability terms makes him roughly worth three Martin Skrtels, and should hopefully mean that he can help us scrape through the upcoming fixtures without dropping too many points. It's big ask for Capoue to deputize and perform in a position he's not completely natural in for such a long stretch, but with Vlad Chiriches and Younes Kaboul still chilling with Vertonghen in the physio room with no return day set, it looks like neither he nor his manager have much of a choice right now.

Ho ho ho.