By Alexander Ford

Jan Vertonghen has claimed Tottenham Hotspur are just as strong as the Premier League’s top teams, despite the financial gap between them.

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino had earlier admitted his club were unable to match their rivals in transfers and wage demands, a thought shared by the Belgium international.

Although the White Hart Lane side have spent a significant amount of money in recent seasons to push on to challenge for the title, it still isn’t anywhere as near as much as the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea.

Antonio Conte’s men currently lead the division, with Spurs sitting third 10 points adrift of the Blues.

However, the excuse of not being able to compete financially with their rivals does not sit right with Vertonghen, who was quick to add that he felt his team are just as strong on the pitch.

“I think money-wise you can’t compare, but on the pitch the team is as strong as theirs definitely,” the defender told The Telegraph.

“We have improved a lot since our last final. It’s only two years, but we have improved a lot, we’ve got stronger.

“The gaffer has had time to work with us and understand the way he wants us to play. We are a lot stronger than then and we have shown that in the last couple of years.

“We want to win both [the Europa League and FA Cup] and compete in the league as well, and I think our team is fit enough to cope with these things.”

Vertonghen’s claim is bold, especially after a disappointing evening in Belgium last week, where Pochettino’s men were beaten by K.A.A. Gent 1-0, leaving a real possibility of the side being eliminated from European competition.

Spurs have failed to bring any silverware to White Hart Lane for almost a decade, with Juande Ramos being the last manager to achieve the feat by guiding his 2007-08 side to the League Cup.

Vertonghan’s comments will no doubt excite fans, making them relish the chance that this season could be the year where they finally bring a trophy home.