Tottenham Hotspurs have been dealt a huge setback, after hearing that centre-back Jan Vertoghen will be sidelined for multiple weeks with an injury to his medial collateral ligament.
Further assessment & scans have confirmed that @Jan_Vertonghen sustained damage to his medial collateral ligament in his knee at Palace.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 26, 2016
The centre-back landed awkwardly after an elbow to the head by Crystal Palace’s Connor Wickham during last week’s match. Wickham has been charged with violent conduct for the incident by the Football Association.
This injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for Spurs, who have a ton of important matches coming up in the next month. Spurs are currently in fourth place in the Barclays Premier League and are fighting to hold onto a Champions League spot and possibly win their first league title since 1961. They also have two important matches in the Europa League against Florentina — who knocked him out of the Europa League last season. They also have a big match against Man City on Feburary 14th.
Vertoghen and fellow countryman Toby Alderweireld have arguably been the best centre-back pairing in the league this season. Spurs have allowed the least amount of goals this campaign and Vertoghen and Alderweireld are a big reason why.
With Vertoghen out, Kevin Wimmer will slot in for the injured Belgian. He’s been a solid replacement for Vertoghen in FA Cup and Europa league matches, as he’s an aerial threat and comfortable on the ball, but just made his Premier League debut a week ago.
Eric Dier, who has been playing as a holding midfielder this season, could also slot back and play as a centre-back — his natural position. Poch could go with Dier and Alderweireld if Wimmer doesn’t perform or just to keep things fresh. Midfielders are certainly something that Spurs don’t lack. Nabil Bentaleb, and Ryan Mason, when he returns from injury, can slot in just above the centre-backs.
Spurs have not confirmed how long Vertoghen will be out for, but manager Mauricio Pochettino will certainly not rush him back. Vertoghen will be missed in the starting XI, but Spurs have the resources to fill the hole in their backline and continue their quest for Champion’s League football.