Jan Vertonghen explains how Spurs have coped without key men


Tottenham escaped from Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with Bayer Leverkusen happy with a point after being up against it for most of the second half.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side could have put away a number of chances in the first 45 minutes, but they did well to go home undefeated, particularly having fielded an under-strength side.

Harry Kane and Toby Alderweireld were the most notable absentees – Kane still out with ligament damage and Alderweireld stretchered off in the weekend’s draw with West Brom.

Kyle Walker also did not travel, bringing Kieran Trippier into the side, so all in all, Spurs did remarkably well in what was probably one of the toughest games they’ll have to face in the group stage.

Jan Vertonghen put in an incredible shift at the back and was one of the main reasons the Lilywhites were able to keep a clean sheet.

The Belgian has hailed Spurs’ squad in the wake of the result, insisting they have depth to rival any other side in the Premier League.


“We’ve shown it again [without Alderweireld],” he said, as per the Guardian.

“It started with Harry and people said it about Hugo [that the team would suffer without them].

“But Michel Vorm came in for Hugo and he showed it against Liverpool and Eric Dier showed it against Leverkusen [in central defence].

“There is a strength to this team, especially after this window, when some great players came in.

“We can miss almost everyone, although obviously not eight or nine players.

“The squad is so strong and we showed that against Leverkusen in a performance without Toby, without Kyle. I think we have as strong a squad as any in the Premier League.”


Spurs always knew that their return to the Champions League after five years was going to test their squad.

Pochettino no longer has the luxury of resting his top players as he was able to do in the Europa League last season, but so far, his side have coped well, and are in a good position to progress to the knockout stages after three games.

When the likes of Kane and Alderweireld return, it will be interesting to see Tottenham at full strength again, as it’s then that they’ll be tested as real title contenders.

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