Arsenal Transfer Rumours: What the Gunners Need to Know About Jan Vertonghen
Spurs don't even need a scouting network because, coincidentally, they always want the players Arsenal want.
If you're an Arsenal or Spurs supporter, this article will be of interest to you, because it lists what you need to know about Vertonghen.
5. Jan Vertonghen's Versatility Is Overrated
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I cringe when I hear versatile and Jan Vertonghen in the same sentence.
Just because Georges Leekens thinks it's a good idea to play center-backs as full-backs, doesn't mean Vertonghen is a solid left-back for Belgium.
In a 1-1 draw against Turkey, Vertonghen was consistently caught out of position, as evidenced when a simple pass by Sabri Sarıoğlu exposed the Belgians' left flank.
Arda Turan latched onto the ball, schooled Nacer Chadli, who was in the right position unlike Vertonghen, and squared it to Burak Yılmaz for the equaliser.
Vertonghen hasn't impressed me in games against Austria and Juventus at left-back.
He did have an extended run in that position during the 2007-08 season, when he couldn't break the centre-back pairing of John Heitinga and Thomas Vermaelen.
Robbert Schilder and Urby Emanuelson didn't want to defend, so Vertonghen became the left-back by default.
As a defensive midfielder, it's still up in the air. He has the right physical attributes, he is intelligent, he can tackle and he has good technique.
Is he better than Alex Song? No. Is Vertonghen a ball-hawk like Francis Coquelin? No.
4. Jan Vertonghen Is a Better Finisher Than Marouane Chamakh
Sometimes, I feel Jan Vertonghen is trying to outdo Andreas Granqvist's 2010-11 season for Groningen, where the Swede managed to score 11 goals from center-back.
Granted, Granqvist was Matt Le Tissier-esque from the penalty spot, and he still ventured forward for goals.
Even though Vertonghen hasn't been a defensive liability this season, I just wonder if his pursuit for goals could become an issue at Arsenal.
Remember, Arsène Wenger plays a high line, and if both Vertonghen and Alex Song are caught up-field, it will be costly.
3. Jan Vertonghen's Concentration Issues
This season, Jan Vertonghen has been superb when I've watched him but, like Sergio Ramos, the Belgian switches off from time to time.
Here is a perfect example where Vertonghen forgot to mark Roy Beerens, which led to Ajax conceding a goal.
It hasn't cost his team in the long run because they are the Eredivisie champions.
Vertonghen is a good defender, but don't expect him to be the second coming of Tony Adams.
2. Jan Vertonghen's Leadership Qualities
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Jan Vertonghen knew he was going to leave yet still helped the likes of Ricardo van Rhijn, Dico Koppers, Daley Blind, Nicolai Boilesen and Ruben Ligeon settle in.
This not only shows Vertonghen's professionalism but high-character qualities.
I don't know what Vertonghen said to van Rhijn, but the 20-year-old dominated Dries Mertens when Ajax beat PSV Eindhoven 2-0.
Vertonghen will bring good leadership qualities and, as long as he doesn't go down the route of William Gallas, the Belgian could be a future captain for Arsenal.
1. Final Comment
Another ball-playing center-back like Jan Vertonghen would be consistent with Arsène Wenger's philosophy.
Is Vertonghen better than Thomas Vermaelen right now? Absolutely, because Vermaelen has been imitating Johan Djourou.
Is there a cheaper realistic centre-back option better than Vertonghen?
Yes, Willy Boly from Auxerre: physically impressive, dominant, reads the play well and he is a strong tackler.