Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen a potential doubt for North London derby

According to reports in the Evening Standard, Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen could be a doubt for the upcoming North London derby after suffering an ankle injury while on international duty with Belgium.

The Evening Standard reports that Red Devils boss Roberto Martinez has decided the 30-year-old wouldn’t be featuring in the friendly against Mexico on Friday, and it remains to be seen whether he recovers in time to face Japan in another friendly against Bruges on Tuesday.

Martinez said: “Jan won’t be in the team tomorrow. He is suffering a little pain in the ankle, but it isn’t serious.”

If he was to miss the clash against Japan then Mauricio Pochettino would have a huge selection problem ahead of the trip to the Emirates a week on Saturday, with fellow centre-back Toby Alderweireld already a doubt after being taken off with a hamstring injury in the 3-1 win against Real Madrid last month.

If the Belgian duo are missing, Pochettino may have to dump the 3-4-2-1 formation he has preferred in recent weeks, unless Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez and Ben Davies could form a three-man defence.

The other option would be to go with Dier and Sanchez together in a back four, but with Danny Rose, Serge Aurier and Kieran Trippier all available in the wing-back spots sticking with three central defenders may not be the worst idea.

Tottenham know that they can create a seven-point gap between them and their arch-rivals if they can win at the Emirates, while their hosts will know it could be reduced to just a single point if they pick up the three points.