Jan Vertonghen is becoming a legend at Tottenham Hotspur.
The Belgian center-back joined the club back in 2012 from Ajax and is now one of Spurs’ longest tenured players. During his time in North London he has established himself as one of the best defenders in the Premier League, and as one of the best defenders to ever play for Tottenham.
Vertonghen is 31-years-old, but he hasn’t showed any signs of decline. If anything, he is still improving. So it wasn’t too surprising on Tuesday when the club announced that they had exercised the option to extend Super Jan’s current contract to 2020.
The Club can confirm that we have activated the option to extend @JanVertonghen’s contract until 2020.— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 18, 2018
Vertonghen spoke recently to the Evening Standard about this option probably being activated, but he also spoke about wanting to stay with Spurs past 2020 on a new deal.
“I’ve got a contract until 2020 — there’s an option and Tottenham will take that option. So I’ve got a year and a half left and then we’ll see. The way I feel now, I’ve got at least four to five good years left in the tank.”
“There are no talks [with the club], but that’s something to discuss. At the moment I feel great at Tottenham. It’s a club with unbelievable potential — not just the players but everything around it. Everyone wants to be part of it.”
“You never know [what the future holds], but I’ve got a great passion for Ajax. I’d probably live in Amsterdam [when I retire]. I can see myself in Belgium a day or two a week with family — it’s only an hour and half drive. My missus is from there. I love the open environment, people being open-minded. I lived there for nine years, it’s a nice city. It has a good quality of life and diversity.”
Vertonghen is a smart guy. He seems to have the end of his career all planned out. He’ll spend a few more years at Tottenham before eventually riding off into the sunset with a final year at Ajax. The transparency around this situation is refreshing as it will cut out any distracting speculation about his future.
Having Jan extended for another is great news, but a bit of bad news broke today about the defender as well. He suffered a thigh injury in the draw at Barcelona. The ailment will keep him out until January.
But Vertonghen will return, and when he does he will likely seamlessly slot back into central defense.
He had a couple understandably rough moments at Spurs before Mauricio Pochettino arrived, but since then Vertonghen has been an integral part of the team.
Hopefully his affiliation with the club won’t end when his playing career does. He’s such a likable guy who deserves a place among the other legendary players who have played for Tottenham Hotspur.