It’s turning into a very good week on the contractual front at White Hart Lane, as Spurs gear up for their Premier League home clash with struggling Swansea. Harry Kane put pen to paper on a new six-year deal with the North London club on Thursday, and Mauricio Pochettino has received the further boost of Belgium international Jan Vertonghen signing an improved three-year contract this morning.
The centre-half, who can also double up as a left-back, signed for Spurs from Eredivisie giants Ajax back in 2012, and has gone on to make 179 appearances for Tottenham. His new deal will keep him at the club until 2019.
Upon signing on improved terms, the Belgian told Spurs TV:
“I was very happy. Once I put pen to paper, I was extremely happy, it was a big relief”.
“I’m very happy to be here, the future looks great so I’m very happy to be a part of it.”
“This is an unbelievable group of talent and a great group of guys and I feel privileged to be a part of it”.
Ahead of the Swansea fixture, as much as nailing down the Belgian will be a boost for Pochettino, the Argentinian has also been reflecting on one player in the opposition ranks this weekend who was able to elude him, in the shape of Iceland international Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Back in 2014, Sigurdsson was of course on the books of the North London club, and Pochettino has recently identified the midfielder as a ‘perfect fit’ for his team, but regrettably behind the scenes, his departure from White Hart Lane had all but been rubber-stamped just days into the Argentine’s reign.
Pochettino had actually picked the Icelander to appear for Spurs in a friendly fixture in Seattle according to a report in the Daily Mail, before hearing that an agreement had been reached over his return to Swansea. Now, he returns to White Hart Lane to face his former club, but Argentine Pochettino will always view losing the midfielder as a ‘shame’.
According to the report, it was former technical director Franco Baldini who had influenced Pochettino to allow Sigurdsson to leave. The Spurs boss, reportedly claimed that at the time, it was ‘difficult to assess’ the player, and subsequently dropped him from the friendly and his return to South Wales was confirmed three days later.
Looking back, he can see the value in the playmaker, who has four goals and four assists in 13 Premier League games this season, and has been the highlight of a difficult campaign so far for the Swans.
It won’t just be Pochettino however who hopes that the influential Iceland international is off his game on Saturday, but also the multitude of Tottenham supporters in attendance who will be more than familiar with what he can produce on the day.
Indeed, many will have tuned in to last week’s Match of the Day to watch Sigurdsson help Swansea to only their second win of the campaign last weekend with a scintillating free-kick goal against Crystal Palace, and Spurs will need to keep him quiet if they are to return to winning ways after their defeat at Chelsea last time out.
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