Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino left centre-back
Spurs secured a 3-1 win against the Championship play-off winners but it was far from plain sailing for the Lilywhites on matchday one, having to fight back from a goal down thanks to a debut strike from
Vertonghen was a notable omission on the opening weekend for Tottenham, and despite Pochettino claiming after the match that the Belgium international was left out for tactical reasons, journalist Gary Jacob claims that it was actually a 'statement' from the manager.
The Argentine was apparently unimpressed with the defender's fitness levels and performances during pre-season, prompting Pochettino to send a warning to the rest of his squad that they're not safe from being dropped if they take their foot off the gas.
Vertonghen is entering the final year of his contract in north London after, like teammate Toby Alderweireld
Jan Vertonghen dropped against Aston Villa because of his fitness levels and pre-season. Pochettino wanted to make a statement . More @TimesSport— Gary Jacob (@garyjacob) August 13, 2019