Kevin Wimmer: I’m happy at Spurs and am focused on deputising for Jan Vertonghen again

Kevin Wimmer

Kevin Wimmer - Credit: EMPICS Sport

Kevin Wimmer says he has had no desire to leave Tottenham, insisting he feels “very comfortable” at White Hart Lane and is fully focused on deputising for Jan Vertonghen again over the coming weeks.

The Austria international stood in for Vertonghen between January and April last year, when his Belgian colleague was sidelined by a knee injury, and acquitted himself well.

Indeed, Wimmer went on to represent his country at Euro 2016 last summer – but he has found opportunities hard to come by at Spurs this term, only playing seven games before Saturday’s trip to Manchester City.

That prompted speculation that the 24-year-old might seek a January move, and it was rumoured earlier this month that his former club Cologne were interested in taking him back to Germany.

But Wimmer said: “The problem was that a few weeks ago, when we had two days off, I went to Cologne to see many friends there because I’m still in touch with them.

“I had a very good time there but this caused a problem because I was seen there and there were some discussions, but there was never a point when I thought about leaving the club.

“I feel very comfortable here and it was just from the media. I never thought about going back to Germany.”

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It is almost exactly a year since Wimmer began a lengthy run in the side as a deputy for the injured Vertonghen, starting 15 games in a row – and history is now repeating itself.

Vertonghen is expected to be out of action for around six weeks after suffering ankle ligament damage in the recent 4-0 home win over West Bromwich Albion, and Wimmer replaced his fellow defender in the starting line-up at Manchester City on Saturday.

“It’s not a good feeling when any of our players are injured, especially if it’s a bad injury,” said the Austrian. “Jan is a strong guy, his mind is strong and he is always positive. Everyone hopes he will be back soon.

“With Toby [Alderweireld] too, I think the injury [he got in Manchester] is not too bad, but it’s never good when such important players get injured.

“The next week will be tough - we have many important games and we want to go into the next round of the FA Cup.

“Of course, as a player you always want to play as many games as possible but the manager decides who starts the games. In training, I just try to show I’m ready.

“It’s not the first time I had this situation. I train every day and learn a lot from the other guys, from Toby and Jan especially.

“I always try to look at what they do and when I get my chances, maybe in FA Cup games, in Europa League games or in Premier League games, I always try to copy them a little bit. I try to do my best.

“It’s not easy when you don’t play every week but you always have to be ready as a footballer, and I am. It’s always a good feeling when the manager trusts you to play in important games, like against Manchester City. We all hope the next games are better and we’ll get the three points next time.”

Wimmer lined up on the left side of Spurs’ back three at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, but his outing was curtailed as he was substituted at half-time, following a first-half onslaught from Pep Guardiola’s hosts.

The defender had been booked after losing the ball on the edge of his own box and, when Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino changed his tactics at half-time, it was Wimmer who made way for substitute Heung-Min Son, who ended up scoring the equalising goal as Tottenham fought back from 2-0 down to grab a 2-2 draw.

“From the beginning it was a very tough game,” said Wimmer. “City played very well, especially in the first 60 minutes. They pressed very high, played high-tempo football, and I think you saw the quality they have, especially offensively.

“In the first half we didn’t play well and we were lucky we didn’t concede any goals by half time. Of course the second half started badly, but we showed character to come back into the game. It wasn’t our best game but it shows the character of the team that we never gave up.

“Even in a performance like this, we scored two goals and we are quite happy to take a point because we know we can do better. We have to keep our heads up and hopefully the next game will be better again.”

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