Former England international Danny Mills has questioned whether Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen is the right fit to sign for Manchester City amid reports of interest from the Etihad Stadium by The Telegraph.
Vertonghen is due to leave north London at the end of the season with his £100,000-per-week contract expiring this summer and is thought to be viewed as a short-term solution for Pep Guardiola’s Sky Blues backline.
Guardiola has a budget of £200million to spend rebuilding his Citizens side that conceded the Premier League title to Liverpool, with a new centre-half and left-back both priority positions despite the Sky Blues conceding the second-lowest total in the top-flight this term (35).
Vertonghen’s years of experience with the Belgian national side and under Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs have been touted as reasons why the 33-year-old would be able to adapt to City’s style of football.
Mills is not as confident, however, as he is left pondering whether Vertonghen would be able to switch-on to Guardiola’s tactics as it has been suggested.
“I do wonder whether he’s suited to Manchester City,” Mills told Football Insider.
Would you welcome Vertonghen on a free?
Vertonghen has seen his opportunities for minutes on the field dwindle in 2020 having been a key part of Tottenham’s backline before the turn of the year outside of injuries, with Jose Mourinho only awarding off-and-on starts following an initially strong run in the side.
The 118-cap Belgian veteran has still managed an average 61.9 touches per Premier League game this season while fielded primarily as the left-sided centre-half, as well as recording 39.7 accurate passes (83%), 1.7 tackles won, 1.4 interceptions, 2.9 clearances, 2.6 aerial duels won and 2.7 ground duels won, per Sofa Score data.
Vertonghen’s efforts will ensure he is not short of potential suitors in the summer, with Roma, Inter Milan, Sevilla and Real Betis all also said to be interested in a deal once the left-footer becomes a free agent, though the opportunity to stay in England is expected to tempt the £13.05m-rated ace to remain in the country as he and his family are settled here.
Yet despite his efforts, and the suitors lined up to snatch his signature, Mills doubts Mourinho and Spurs will regret allowing Vertonghen to leave on a free.
“He’s got experience and he’s very, very good, but it’s one of those, I think you can’t control it,” Mills added. “If you don’t want a player, you have to accept that they’re going to go wherever they want.
“If you’re saying you don’t want him cause he’s not good enough, so if somebody else wants him, good luck to them. I don’t think Spurs or Mourinho will be bothered in the slightest where he goes.”