Vertonghen should leave Spurs and join Barcelona

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Jan Vertonghen would be foolish to turn down the opportunity to join Barcelona, and should push for a January exit from Tottenham at the turn of the year.

If reports in Spain are to be believed, the Belgium international could become the subject of a £20million bid from the Spanish giants when the transfer window reopens, with Gerardo Martino keen to strengthen his defensive ranks.

In just over 18 months at White Hart Lane, Vertonghen has already proved himself as one of the most accomplished centre-backs currently playing in the Premier League, so it's even more bewildering why Andre Villas-Boas continues to deploy him out of position, on the left side of defence.

The 26-year-old has already spoken of his dissatisfaction, but the Portuguese tactician continues to ignore his plea for a central role, while his first-team options at left-back continue to be limited.

At Barcelona, Vertonghen would slot in seamlessly alongside Gerard Pique, and would be a viable centre-back successor for Camp Nou veteran Carles Puyol, who is approaching the end of his career.

His eligibility to play in the Champions League this season also makes the former Ajax captain an attractive January option for Martino, having already been impressed by the player's strength, and technical ability on the ball.

What he might lack in speed, Vertonghen certainly makes up for in his positioning and reading of the game, and anyway, pace is not exactly a prerequisite for a successful career in La Liga.

Should Spurs fail to finish in the top four again this season - and Vertonghen decides to stay in north London - then the defender will be without Europe's elite club competition for a third successive campaign.

He's worthy of a place at football's top table, and the Tottenham star could not be criticised for pursuing the opportunity to join Barcelona. Vertonghen's place in Marc Wilmots's squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is all but guaranteed - a January transfer to Catalunya will help confirm his inclusion.

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Premier League
Jan Vertonghen
Tottenham Hotspur

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