Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt a major blow after centre-back Jan Vertonghen picked up an ankle injury in the 4-0 win over West Bromwich Albion during Jan. 14's Premier League action. It's a problem that will reportedly rule the player out for around 10 weeks, per Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph.
As the club's official Twitter account shared, he was taken off after just 64 minutes:
Manager Mauricio Pochettino commented on the setback after the match, refusing to speculate on the severity of the injury:
According to Law, the defender is set for a significant spell on the sidelines. "Vertonghen is expected to miss at least six weeks, but scans showed the injury is somewhere between Grade 2 and 3, which means medics believe he may not play again until towards the end of March," he noted.
Alongside Toby Alderweireld, Vertonghen, 29, is part of arguably the best centre-back duo in the Premier League.
As discussed on BBC 5 live Sport, they are an effective partnership:
Spurs conceded only 35 goals in the English top flight in 2015-16, the joint-fewest in the division, with Vertonghen starting 29 matches under Pochettino, per WhoScored.com.
He's been one of the top contributors for Spurs during this campaign, and worryingly for those who frequent White Hart Lane, Tottenham's cover at centre-back is limited.
The 24-year-old Kevin Wimmer is the most natural alternative option available for Pochettino, while Eric Dier and Ben Davies can both deputise. Dier played plenty of minutes when Alderweireld was out with an injury earlier this season and shone alongside the duo in a back three recently.
But Tottenham are significantly weaker when the Vertonghen-Alderweireld partnership is broken.