Arsene Wenger to bring quality defender to the Emirates Stadium.
Total football to lose another star
Jason Dasey speaks to Ajax manager Frank de Boer to find out whether Jan Vertonghen’s move to Arsenal next season is a done-deal.
Talking to Ajax manager Frank de Boer, you’d swear that Jan Vertonghen’s move to Arsenal next season is already a done-deal. What isn’t so certain is if the former Netherlands captain will ever join the tall Belgian in the English Premier League.
Ahead of upcoming matches, defending champions Ajax sit atop a crowded top-six in the Eredivisie after eight consecutive league victories. Yet de Boer is resigned to losing his club captain at the end of the campaign, with the Emirates Stadium the most likely destination.
“Yes we’ve already discussed it,” de Boer told the Football Fever Podcast this week. “When there’s a club that he’s already interested in – and it’s really got to be a good club – then he will leave. It’s 100 per cent sure.
“I think he’s ready to make a next step. For us, it’s a setback, of course, to miss that kind of quality player.”
Whilst the likes of Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen have done a great job of late as Wenger’s first choice centre back pairing, and with Per Mertesacker on the mend, the signing of Belgian international Jan Vertonghen would be a very wise one.
The 24 year old Ajax man is a very reliable defensive presence but he is also adept at performing as a defensive midfielder and could therefore be of great use in both positions which is just the kind of adaptable trait Wenger looks for in prospective signings, hence his interest in Lukas Podolski, who can play as an orthodox striker as well as out on the flank.
Vertonghen has amassed over 200 appearances for his Amsterdam side but probably feels the time is right to move on and the chance to join his former team-mate Vermaelen, also a national team compatriot, would surely tempt the hard working defender.
Arsenal have at times been down to the bare bones due to a myriad of injuries to a host of defensive players and therefore more strength in depth could only be a good thing and the quality of a player like Vertonghen to keep his players on their toes is something Wenger will be striving for as he looks to end a very lean period that has resulted in a seven year silverware drought.