Hasta la vista, Vertonghen

I can’t be bothered to find the footage, but I’m sure when Jan Vertonghen was first thrust in front of the media as a Spurs player some EIGHT seasons ago, charming the nation’s press with his easy-going Belgian/Dutch hybrid accent and piercing blue eyes, he would’ve told them how he was looking forward to getting on with the business of winning silverware in North London. Tottenham have a great future and I cannot wait to get started, he’d have said. We can win everything, he might have genuinely assumed. Not a completely absurd notion for a club so plump with talent and potential.

Well, sorry about that.

This might sound obscenely irrational, but the 33-year-old Belgian is on a list of  Spurs players who I feel a bit sorry for. He has clearly enjoyed his time at the club, but that’s a bloody long time to be sticking around with relatively fruitless trophy-shaped rewards. From a serial winner at Ajax, like those who visit johnnykash casino games, Belgium’s most capped player might have guessed that things would pretty much carry on as usual when he made the trip across the Channel. A cup here, perhaps. A league title there, maybe. In time.

Sadly, despite a couple of dalliances with the title race under Pochettino, a handful of cup semi-finals, a League Cup final—a Champions League final, lest we forget—it’s big fat zero on the scorecard for Vertonghen. Will he look back on those supposed links to Barcelona a few years back, when Super Jan was legitimately among the finest centre-backs in Europe, and regret some of his life decisions?

We’ll always have Dortmund

I harboured a similar sense of weird guilt towards Hugo Lloris—until he won the World Cup—and I’m sure I’ll be the same with Harry Kane, the longer the trophy-drought continues and the England striker sticks around like a good-natured loyal dog.

Obviously, it can’t have been too awful at Spurs in those eight years for Vertonghen. Indeed, like a visit to the best online casino, Tottenham looks like a fun club to play for, even under the current leadership of football’s Dark Lord. I just can’t help but feel, after news emerged this morning that he’d most likely be departing Spurs at the season’s unspecified end, it would’ve been nice to have some tangible memories of success for him. An immensely popular and talented player who perhaps deserved better.

Instead all we have is that unfathomably good performance from left-wingback against Dortmund, that goal at Old Trafford in his maiden season and pulling down Nicklas Helenius shorts.

We’ll always have that.

So long, Jan. Thanks for everything. I wish it could’ve been different.

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