Tottenham must extend Jan Vertonghen’s contract to avoid a defensive crisis next summer

According to the Evening Standard, Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen is still unsure whether the club will be activating a one-year extension to his contract, which otherwise would expire in the summer of 2019.

What’s the story?

The 31-year-old Belgian agreed his current deal with the Lilywhites in 2016 and is waiting to hear whether the club will take up the option to extend it for a further year.

Vertonghen has been at the North London club since the summer of 2012, when he arrived from Ajax after coming through the club’s famous youth academy. In those six years he has become one of the most crucial players in the squad and has made 256 appearances in all competitions, chipping in with 11 goals.

The Spurs man, who is valued at £28m by Transfermarkt, was also a key part of the Belgium squad that reached the semi-finals of this summer’s World Cup and eventually finished third after beating England in the playoff. Vertonghen made six appearances in the tournament and scored in the comeback victory over Japan in the round of 16.

Key decision

Although Tottenham failed to make any new signings this summer, Daniel Levy would have pleased boss Mauricio Pochettino by keeping the club’s stars of recent years together.

Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen walk off the pitch following Tottenham Hotspur's match against CSKA Moscow

One man that was heavily linked with a move away was Vertonghen’s fellow Belgian centre-back Toby Alderweireld. The 29-year-old was supposedly set for a switch to Manchester United but a move never materialised.

Alderweireld is in a similar situation to Vertonghen though in that his contract expires next summer but the club have the option of a one-year extension. If they activate this though a £25.4m release clause also becomes active, meaning that clubs are likely to swoop for the experienced international.

This means that Spurs and Levy absolutely must extend Vertonghen’s contract in the summer to prevent a defensive crisis at the club, and not only should they extend it by a further year, they should actually take a risk by offering the 31-year-old an even longer deal than that such is his importance.