Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen was reportedly angry after being left out of a Premier League opener against Aston Villa on Saturday.
Spurs picked up a 3-1 home win over the newly-promoted side at the weekend, kicking off their latest campaign in strong fashion as they look to build on last season’s fourth-place finish.
Vertonghen, who has been a fixture in Pochettino’s squad in recent years, was omitted from the Argentine’s matchday squad altogether, despite being fit to play.
The Belgian centre-back insisted post-match that he was able to play a part, but Pochettino told the media that his decision was a tactical one.
However in actual fact, according to the Daily Mail, the Spurs boss had reservations about Vertonghgen’s fitness levels in pre-season, which is why he was not included in his final 19-man squad.
The Mail reports that the 32-year-old superstar was left furious after Pochettino broke the news and he watched on from the stands in a disinterested mood alongside teammates Dele Alli and Ryan Sessegnon.
Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez starred together in the heart of the Spurs defence in Vertonghen’s absence and it is not yet known when or if he will be restored to the starting XI.
Tottenham are back in Premier League action on Sunday, as they take in a trip to Manchester City which could end up being a vital fixture, even at this early stage of the campaign.
Vertonghen joined Spurs from Ajax in 2012 and has since established himself as one of the most consistent performers in the Premier League, helping the team earn a regular place in the Champions League.
The Belgium international is one of few genuine leaders in Pochettino’s ranks and supporters will hope that he returns to the pitch quickly in order to aid Tottenham’s pursuit of silverware across all competitions.