If you’re a Tottenham Hotspur supporter, the most you can hope for is that the players participating in summer international tournaments perform well and don’t get injured. Considering the number of Tottenham players participating in the Euros and Copa America this summer, the club has been extremely fortunate to escape injury this long.
So much for luck. According to Belgian football broadcaster rtbf.be, Spurs starting defender Jan Vertonghen suffered an ankle injury in training with the Belgian national team and will
not only miss the rest of the Euros , but will be out for four months.
The website claims that Vertonghen sustained ankle ligament damage and is on crutches. In immediate terms, this means that Jordan Lukaku will almost certainly slot into the left back position for Belgium in their next match against Wales on Friday.
Now, at the risk of jumping the gun, we don’t know for SURE for sure the extent of Jan’s injury, but it’s strongly implied that, regardless, he’s hurt, and probably pretty badly. More information will be coming in a press conference later today
Vertonghen injury would require more scans than just what is done today before seriousness and length of lay-off would be confirmed #COYS— Emma Storey (@JournoSpursEmma) June 30, 2016
Regardless, this is terrible news for Tottenham. Vertonghen formed one half of the best central defense partnerships in the Premier League when he lined up beside his Belgian teammate Toby Alderweireld. If there’s a silver lining to Vertonghen’s injury, it’s that Kevin Wimmer has already proven himself to be a more than capable replacement for Jan in Spurs’ back line.
That said, if he’s really out for an extended period of time, this immediately makes Spurs thin in central defense for the opening part of the 2016-17 season. Right now, Eric Dier would be next in line if anything else were to happen, and Spurs technically still have Federico Fazio and Cameron Carter-Vickers if things get really dicey.
However, this will almost certainly prompt Spurs to take a hard look at augmenting the squad in the transfer window. Spurs are already linked with Iceland defender Ragnar Sigurdsson; look for them to be linked to a lot more defenders in the coming days.
UPDATE: Kristof Terreur says Jan Vertonghen’s injury isn’t as bad as what was first feared. It’s still ligament damage, and that sucks, but his injury is expected to be around six weeks, and not four months.