Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen was reportedly dropped from the squad that beat Aston Villa on Saturday due to his ‘poor’ fitness levels.
The Belgium international was a shock absentee as Spurs began the new Premier League campaign with a 3-1 win in north London.
Vertonghen was completely left out of the 18-man squad for the game and sat in the stands as Harry Kane’s brace and a debut strike from Tanguy Ndombele gave Tottenham all three points.
Mauricio Pochettino was coy about Vertonghen’s absence before and after the victory, but the Daily Mail claims the Belgian was disciplined for his ‘poor’ fitness levels.
It is reported that the 32-year-old has not impressed in pre-season and that Pochettino was making a point out of leaving Vertonghen out.
Davinson Sanchez and Toby Alderweireld were paired together instead and appear likely to remain for this weekend’s tough trip to Manchester City.
Their partnership, however, lacks the natural balance that Alderweireld and Vertonghen provide at the heart of the defence, with the former and Sanchez both being right-footed.
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