Jan Vertonghen Hopes 'Everyone Stays' Following Tottenham's UCL Final DefeatJune 2, 2019
Jan Vertonghen hopes Tottenham Hotspur's key players won't leave in the wake of the club's 2-0 defeat to Liverpool in the 2019 UEFA Champions League final on Saturday.
Vertonghen admitted he is in the dark about whether losing on the big stage will prompt an overhaul of the squad, per David Hytner of the Guardian: "We have a great team. Hopefully everyone can stay together and we can achieve great things. I hope everyone stays. Will there be an overhaul? I don't know. Today we live with disappointment and we'll see what happens in the summer."
Such concerns are warranted since there are doubts about the futures of more than a few key players. Among them, playmaker Christian Eriksen has been linked with Real Madrid.
Spanish source AS (h/t Calciomercato) reported Spurs officials met with Real representatives before the final to discuss a potential deal for the Denmark international. Eriksen is the creative fulcrum of this Spurs team but did not have his best game in the final.
Meanwhile, fellow centre-back Toby Alderweireld remains on the radar of Manchester United. The Sun's Mike McGrath reported the Red Devils are still thinking about activating the release clause in the Belgium international's contract worth £25 million, a stipulation set to expire before the summer window closes on Aug. 8.
While Eriksen is vital in midfield, Alderweireld is the bedrock of a strong defence. His loss would be felt, even if Davinson Sanchez and Juan Foyth are available to take his place.
More damaging could be the possible loss of manager Mauricio Pochettino. He "has been linked to the Manchester United and Real Madrid jobs in the last 12 months," per Alex Smith of the Daily Mirror.
Pochettino hardly quelled speculation about his plans when he skirted the issue in the aftermath of losing out to Liverpool:
Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan
Pochettino asked about the future “It is not moment now to talk too much, as it can be interpreted in different ways. After 5 years at Tottenham it was amazing to reach the club's first UCL final. Now it's about staying calm, change the mood, for sure we'll have time to talk”
Keeping Pochettino in north London won't be easy if he has to continue working under the financial constraints that have defined recent years. The Argentinian didn't sign a single player in the last two transfer windows and faces having to stay competitive while Spurs handle the cost of a new stadium.
It means further caution in the market is likely. Pochettino's ability to produce solid results without major investment will be vital to Tottenham's immediate future:
❌ 0 signings in 2 windows. 🏟 Delays to the new stadium. 🗣 @ManUtd & @RealMadrid job rumours. 🚑 @HKane lengthy injury. 📈 4th in @PremierLeague. 🔵 Beat @ManCity in UCL Quarter-Final. 🤯 THAT comeback vs @AFCAjax. 🥈 @ChampionsLeague Runner-Up. 👏 Mauricio Pochettino. https://t.co/Z4aRJ07EBI
However, the 47-year-old's job won't be easy if Spurs can't keep together the talented group he has assembled. It's a group yet to win a trophy, though, and that barren run may tempt a few of the bigger names to pursue pastures new, despite Vertonghen's plea for unity.