Jan Vertonghen’s calf injury not a ‘big issue’ according to Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
The Belgian had to pull out of Sunday’s game with Leicester City, but is expected to be fine for international duty later this month
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has eased fears Belgium defender Jan Vertonghen suffered a serious injury during the warm-up of Sunday’s Premier League clash with Leicester City at Wembley Stadium.
The 31-year-old was named in the Spurs starting line-up, but had to pull out after he felt his calf half an hour before kick-off and he was replaced by Victor Wanyama.
Vertonghen had been struggling with his ankle during the week and revealed he only made a decision to start the 1-0 win over Newcastle United on May 9 after feeling okay in the warm-up.
But any fears he could miss Belgium’s World Cup campaign were quickly put to bed by Pochettino.
“Jan felt something in his calf, but it was tight, so no big issue,” said Tottenham’s boss after the 5-4 victory against the Foxes.
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“To take a risk in that situation I think it’s better to not take a risk because there’s the World Cup and of course if he’s not 100 per cent, then it’s impossible to play.”
It will be music to the ears of Belgium manager Roberto Martinez and he would have been pleased to see Toby Alderweireld get 90 minutes on Sunday.
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The former Ajax defender has struggled for minutes this season after suffering a torn hamstring on November 1.
Alderweireld is expected to leave the club this summer and so Sunday’s appearance could be his last for Spurs.
He was not at his vintage best, but did show touches of class and Pochettino conceded the game with Leicester was not a match to judge individuals.
Alongside Alderweireld was Eric Dier, who has generally played in midfield for large parts of the campaign while right-back Kyle Walker-Peters was making just his second league start.
Pochettino said: “It was difficult. Of course we missed Jan and we missed Davinson (Sanchez). They play regularly in the starting XI.
“They are important players for us, both of them, so Sunday was a difficult game to judge and difficult to judge individual performances.
“Always when the opponent has nothing to play for, they play freely and they came here only to enjoy, so of course this type of games can happen.
“I think it’s not a moment to judge the performance, collectively or individually, the most important thing is the victory put us in third position, which was our objective.”