The report claims the north London duo were battling for the defenders signature in the summer after he decided to call time on a nine-year stay with Ajax. Vertonghen ended up signing for Spurs and according to Sky Sports News the 25-year-old has revealed he made the decision after the Gunners told him they saw his future as a midfielder, and the Belgian ace also claims the project at White Hart Lane was more appealing.
“(Arsenal’s interest) was concrete, but they wanted me to be a controller in the midfield, an Emmanuel Petit-type,”
“I’m not afraid of competition, but the overall picture of Spurs appealed to me more.” Vertonghen is quoted as saying by Sky Sports News
Vertonghen has looked more than comfortable on the ball during the early stages of his time with Tottenham, so it’s no surprise that Arsene Wenger thought he could turn him into a central midfielder. Shame he didn’t fancy it as I would have liked to see how he cut it in that role.
The Belgian has been forced to play at left back for the first few months of his career at the Lane due to a long-term injury to regular number one Benoit Assou-Ekotto, but the Cameroonian international is close to a first team return which should allow Vertonghen to play in his more preferred centre-back position – something he’s looking forward to. He continued:
“Ultimately, I just came to play at centre-back.
“Gareth Bale had to play left-back, but it did not work so he pushed forward and I moved to full-back.
“I see myself as a centre-back. I’m not agile enough to play against players like Nani and (Raheem) Sterling.” Vertongehn is quoted as saying by Sky Sports News
What do Arsenal and Tottenham fans make of Vertonghen’s comments? Get involved in the comments section below.