Another blow for Tottenham as key man emerges as doubt for North London derby

Jan Vertonghen is a doubt for Tottenham Hotspur’s North London derby clash with Arsenal in the Premier League next week after picking up a knock on international duty with Belgium.

The centre-half missed Friday’s thrilling 3-3 draw with Mexico and is facing a race to be fit in time to take on Japan on Tuesday.

Should he sit out that encounter then there will be a major question mark over his fitness going into Spurs’ first clash with the Gunners of the current campaign.

However, national team boss Roberto Martinez was positive on Vertonghen’s condition before the Mexico game, with the Evening Standard reporting that the 44-year-old told his pre-match press conference that the defender’s ankle issue ‘isn’t serious’.

The Lilywhites can ill afford to be without the former Ajax star next Saturday, particularly given that his international team-mate Toby Alderweireld is expected to be unavailable with a hamstring strain.

Captain Hugo Lloris is also struggling with a groin problem and did not feature in last Sunday’s win over Crystal Palace.

Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Harry Winks all withdrew from international duty with England this week, but they could each be in the frame for the trip to the Emirates Stadium.

Spurs travel to Borussia Dortmund the following Tuesday in the Champions League and then return to Wembley to host West Bromwich Albion on November 25.