Vertonghen bids for return to the middle
Jan Vertonghen says he is ready to return to playing as a centre-back for Tottenham after filling in for the injured Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
Belgium international Vertonghen has impressed in a wide berth in the absence of regular left-back Assou-Ekotto, particularly during Spurs' 3-2 win at Manchester United in September.
However, with Assou-Ekotto now training again after three months out, Vertonghen believes returning to the middle of the defence would be good for both the team and himself.
"For the team it is best that I play as a centre-back. I like to bring the ball out. When teams drop in and you need to move the game quickly, that is one of my qualities as well," he told reporters.
"The manager knows I prefer centre-back but that is enough for me. He respects me but tells me whenever I need to play left back. I want to help the team.
"It would be good to have Benoit back but not only for that reason as he is one of the best left-backs in the league.
"I love to go up front. It is a little more difficult than when you are playing centre-back. My influence on the game, if you play the way that I want to play as a centre-back, I think my influence is better as a centre-back. That is why I want to play there."
Vertonghen's international team-mate Christian Benteke will face Spurs with Aston Villa on Boxing Day, and the centre-back knows his countryman will be a real handful for whoever he is up against.
"(Benteke) is very good in the air and he can score. He will be a very tough player to play against. I know him quite well from Belgium the league and national team. It doesn't surprise me that he has done well."