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Vertonghen hints at “couple of good years left” in football

Tottenham’s defensive veteran says relations at the club are good and hints at contract negotiations with the club.

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Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton FC - Premier League Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Jan Vertonghen has been a bit quiet this season. The eight year Tottenham Hotspur veteran didn’t play in Spurs’ first three Premier League matches of the season, including one memorable stint in the stands where he wore dark glasses to obscure the fact that he was sporting a black eye. That led to natural speculation that all was not right between him and the club, especially with his contract expiring at the end of the season.

But with Jan back in the side and anchoring the back line alongside his friend and international teammate Toby Alderweireld, he’s now starting to open up about his long-term future at Spurs. He is, he says, not immune to the fact that he’s getting older but still has some gas left in the tank.

“I’m very aware of my age. I feel fairly young and it doesn’t distract me. I want to play as many games as I can at the highest possible level, that’s what we are doing now and that’s what we are doing tomorrow (vs. Bayern).

“I’m very ambitious and I feel I’ve got a couple of good years left in me, that’s definitely how I’m feeling now. I hope I can help the team as long as I can.”

This is nice to hear. It’s also timely, considering a (certainly spurious) rumor is circulating around Tottenham social media that suggests cracks are forming within what was a tight-knit Spurs unit. Jan’s comments are likely going to buoy the hopes of antsy fans who are still worried that there hasn’t been a whole lot of news concerning extending his stay in North London. Jan touched on that very point, though he didn’t want to go into a whole lot of detail.

“I prefer not to go too deep into that, but there’s always some movement everywhere. It’s my eighth season now, I had a great past, I’m feeling great at the moment in every single way here.”

So does that mean that he’s in negotiations with Spurs for a new deal? We don’t know. Matt Law at the Telegraph sure seems to think so, but it’s not clear if he’s inferring that from Jan’s comments or if he has insider information at the club. Either way, they are promising words from one of the longest-tenured players at Spurs right now. I would not at all be opposed to giving Jan a couple extra years at Tottenham, even if it’s just a buffer as they work to bring through a new generation of central defenders.