No-nonsense Tottenham man deserves way more credit

Tottenham Hotspur’s 3-0 win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night was a sublime performance from Mauricio Pochettino’s men against a very good team.

While there were plenty of the Spurs stars that stood up and were counted, the performance of Jan Vertonghen was exceptional.

Playing out of position at left wing-back, the Belgium international endured a tough first half, with Achraf Hakimi and Jadon Sancho finding spacing down Tottenham’s left.

However, in the second half in particular, Vertonghen played like a man possessed.

The former Ajax centre-half put in the cross for Son Heung-min to score the opener, netted the second himself with a confident finish and continually bombed forward to give Dortmund no end of problems.

While most Tottenham fans will not be surprised by the level of Vertonghen’s performance given that he has been a favourite on the terraces for a long time, the Belgian veteran deserves more credit than he receives.

Most neutrals would count Toby Alderweireld among the best defenders in the Premier League, but his national compatriot deserves to be in this conversation also.

Vertonghen has been a stalwart for Spurs since signing from Ajax in 2012 and his commitment, leadership and reading of the game are second to none.

Given the 31-year-old played out of position in such a high-profile Champions League game and put in a man-of-the-match performance, the Tottenham star should receive even more plaudits.

While there is little doubt that Alderweireld is a mercurial defender that is very important to the club, Vertonghen is just as good a player and should be regarded as one of the best and most-consistent defenders in English football.