Vertonghen: I snubbed Arsenal
Juventus striker Nicklas Bendtner could be sidelined for up to
three months after damaging his leg against Cagliari on Wednesday
The on-loan Arsenal forward was forced to leave the pitch before
half-time in a 1-0 Coppa Italia victory and medical tests revealed
the extent of the injury.
A statement on juventus.com read: “Nicklas Bendtner has
undergone an MRI scan and ultrasound that have revealed a lesion on
his left adductor tendon.
“The prognosis will become clearer after further examinations
which the Danish striker will undergo in the coming days.”
Bendtner has struggled to make an impact for the Italian
champions – failing to score in eight appearances – but his
protracted absence will leave the Serie A leaders light on numbers
up front, with only Fabio Quagliarella, Mirko Vucinic and Sebastian
There was better news on midfielder Arturo Vidal, who complained
of pain in his right knee during the game, with an MRI scan
revealing light bruising.
Vertonghen joined Spurs from Ajax this summer and has gone on to
become a fans’ favourite after a series of excellent displays for
Andre Villas-Boas’ team.
The Belgian started his White Hart Lane career as a centre-back
but soon moved over to left-back – the position he plays in for his
country – after an injury to Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
Gunners manager Wenger, who is under pressure after Arsenal’s
poor start to the campaign, was interested in signing Vertonghen,
but the 25-year-old instead opted to move to the Gunners’ north
London rivals after it became clear that the Frenchman wanted him
to play in midfield.
“(Arsenal’s interest) was concrete, but they wanted me to be a
controller in the midfield, an Emmanuel Petit-type,” Vertonghen
told Dutch website NUsport.
“I’m not afraid of competition, but the overall picture of Spurs
appealed to me more.”
Spurs manager Villas-Boas initially moved Gareth Bale to
left-back following Assou-Ekotto’s injury, but Vertonghen has been
a more effective solution during the Cameroonian’s absence.
With Assou-Ekotto now back in full training following his
three-month layoff, Vertonghen looks set to return to the heart of
the defence, much to his delight.
He added: “Ultimately, I just came to play at centre back.
“Gareth Bale had to play left back, but it did not work so he
pushed forward and I moved to full-back.
“I see myself still as a centre-back. I’m not agile enough to
play against players like Nani and (Raheem) Sterling.”
Villas-Boas, meanwhile, says any new recruits he adds in January
must subscribe to his and Tottenham’s attacking philosophy.
Speaking in a question and answer session on Twitter, the
Portuguese, who has been linked with moves for Joao Moutinho,
Fernando Llorente and Willian, said: “The players we are trying to
bring in and have here also embrace that philosophy which we want
to carry into the future.
“(Being at Spurs) is great because of the philosophy of the club
want to implement, what I think about football and the way we
“I think we should have a go, play well and be open.”
Despite last weekend’s defeat at Everton, Villas-Boas’ team go
in to Sunday’s game against Swansea in fifth place, just three
points behind Chelsea.
The 35-year-old, who lasted just under nine months in charge at
Stamford Bridge, has been pleased by his start to life at White
He said: “I have encountered a tremendous group of people, staff
& players. (It was) important to get (a) positive response,
which we have had since we arrived.
“It has been an exciting five months and we hope we can keep
doing well in order to repay the confidence given to us from the
Wycombe, meanwhile, have announced that Spurs goalkeeper Jordan
Archer has extended his loan spell with the npower League Two side
until the end of the season.