Villas-Boas on why ‘great’ Vertonghen is playing at left-back for Tottenham
Andre Villas-Boas hails Jan Vertonghen as one of the greatest centre-halves that he has worked with after his stint at left-back
Andre Villas-Boas has hailed Jan Vertonghen as one of the greatest centre-halves that he has worked with, despite having deployed the Tottenham defender out of position in recent weeks.
Vertonghen, who joined the north London side in an £8m deal from Ajax in 2012, has been forced to play at left-back due to injuries to England Under-21 international Danny Rose and Zeki Fryers.
The 25-year-old made his deference for the position clear in an interview published earlier this week, and Villas-Boas revealed he has since spoken to Vertonghen.
“I’ve had a lot of conversations with Jan regarding this situation,” Villas-Boas said.
He added: “Unfortunately he has to sacrifice for the team in that position. His position as a central defender is not in question. He’s one of the great central defenders that I have worked with.
“He knows the [central] position is waiting for him whenever we have other options at the left-back position. He has the trust and confidence from me.
“The reality is sometimes you have to sacrifice for the best of the team.”
Villas-Boas also revealed Vertonghen’s willingness to play out of position for the good of the team prompted the manager’s decision to make the Belgian captain earlier this season.
“It’s one of the reasons that I’ve made him captain this season,” he continued. “I told that to the group when I made the decision.
“The fact Jan is a player that I’ve sacrificed for the team in a position where he hasn’t fallen in love with – it’s something that I hold in high esteem.
“I know that he doesn’t like it. It’s not a big deal. It’s a decision I have to make.”
The Tottenham manager also joked he would be the first to contact Vertonghen if the defender plays at left-back for his country during next summer’s World Cup.
He added: “Funny enough, I told him I would be the first on the phone to him when he goes to Belgium at the World Cup and plays at left-back.”