Tottenham defender reveals Arsenal FC snub
Jan Vertonghen completed a move from Ajax to Tottenham Hotspur in the summer, although the Belgian defender has today revealed that he could have signed for a different north London club if things had gone differently.
December 13th, 2012
The 25-year-old was also wanted by Arsenal and the Emirates seemed the likeliest destination for the player, although Vertonghen claims that he snubbed Arsene Wenger because the Frenchman was looking to play him as a midfielder rather than his more customary defensive position.
“(Arsenal’s interest) was concrete, but they wanted me to be a controller in the midfield, an Emmanuel Petit-type,” Vertonghen told Dutch website NUsport.
“I’m not afraid of competition, but the overall picture of Spurs appealed to me more.”
He added: “Ultimately, I just came to play at centre back.
“Gareth Bale had to play left back, but it did not work so he pushed forward and I moved to full-back.
“I see myself still as a centre-back. I’m not agile enough to play against players like Nani and (Raheem) Sterling.”
Indeed, injury to Benoit Assou-Ekotto means that the Belgian is now operating as a left-back which is a position that Vertonghen plays for his national side, with the former’s return leaving Andre Villas-Boas in a dilemma over whether to play the Belgian in that left-sided position.