Spurs look to academy rather than transfer market to cover Vertonghen injury

As we enter the final moments of the January transfer window, some have speculated that Tottenham will look to pick up a centre-half to cover Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen, after he damaged his knee ligaments in the 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace. Vertonghen has formed a formidable partnership with Belgian team-mate Toby Alderweireld this season, and has been an integral part in Spurs achieving the best defensive record in the league this year. His expected absence of 6-8 weeks is a big blow for Tottenham, and whilst a ready made replacement in Kevin Wimmer is ready to step up and play, another centre-half may need to be called upon.  
However, panic-buys aren’t in the Tottenham managers remit, and he instead insisted that he will look towards the excellent Spurs academy for cover. Many academy products have found opportunities under the Spurs boss, and he hinted that with Vertonghen now absent, another may not be far away.

The Spurs coach said “We have a lot of players in defensive positions that can play. We have another youngster from the academy, Cameron Carter-Vickers.

“He’s young but he has enough quality and he’s been training with us from the beginning of the season and playing with the Under-21s.

“I think it’s a good opportunity [for him] to stay with us now more consistently. I don’t expect to [sign a player to] cover Jan Vertonghen, I think we have enough players to cover his injury.”  

Unlike other coaches in the league, when Pochettino says this you know he’s being serious, and will have no problem entrusting responsibility to such a young player at a crucial time in the season.  

Cameron Carter-Vickers does appear to have the skill-set to suggest that he could manage the demands of playing in the Tottenham first team. Only 18 years of age, he has already captained the Spurs U-21 side and the USA U-23 side. Physically mature for his age and with obvious leadership qualities, Carter-Vickers seems to be developing into an extremely useful player.  

Pochettino was his usual coy self when addressing rumours surrounding other possible incomings and those concerning himself also.

He said that “It’s the same rumours as about the players,” he said. “There’s a lot of names now in the media – the facility to manage different clubs in the future. My focus is here, trying to achieve success with Tottenham and working hard.

“I think I’ve explained in the last press conference, I always work for the present and for the future. I am very happy here.
“After 18 months we have created a very good group and we’ve set a very good basis to get success in the future. I am very happy. My job is to be focused on my job and not hear rumours, only to be focused on my job – this is the most important thing.”

The Spurs boss rarely gives any credence to rumours surrounding the club, so it remains to be seen how active or in-active Spurs are in the closing moments of the transfer window. One thing is for certain however, with Daniel Levy in charge, you can never rule out a last minute scramble at Tottenham Hotspur.

Written by Josh Smith

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