New Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen expects his new side to be challenging for the title come the end of the season.
Vertonghen confident of title challenge
Spurs were just two points behind eventual champions Manchester City at the midway point of the 2011-12 campaign before going on a poor run and eventually finishing fourth.
When asked by ESPN at the launch of the new Spurs kit the Belgian about a title challenge, he said: "Why not? When I see these players, there is a lot of quality and possibility to be in first position. They were in the title race last year; this year I want to do the same and keep it going for longer."
Despite interest from an array of clubs this summer, Vertonghen made the decision early on that he wanted to move to White Hart Lane, but he had to be patient as the clubs struggled to agree a fee.
"I was worried, though I always was convinced the deal would go through," he said. "I went to my manager (Frank de Boer) and said, 'Please close the deal because I really want to go to Spurs'."
While Harry Redknapp was in charge of Spurs when Vertonghen made the decision to join the club, the Belgium international was swayed by the efforts of chairman Daniel Levy.
"He invited me to the club, he came to Amsterdam, he told me how he really wanted to have me at the club," Vertonghen said. "He gave me an amazing feeling about the club. For me that is the most important because i want to feel what a club wants from me."
Vertonghen has played at left-back for Belgium due to competition from Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen and Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany, but the 25-year-old does not expect he will do the same for his new club.
He told ESPN: "I think they wanted me as a central defender. My ambitions are to play there, but I'll play left back if I'm asked."
Andre Villas-Boas has now led his first training sessions since succeeding Redknapp, and a number of Spurs players have taken to Twitter to praise his methods.
Vertonghen has been equally impressed: "He's really involved on the pitch. I like that kind of trainer because Frank de Boer was the same. I like a trainer who keeps the team busy."
Jan Vertonghen was speaking at the launch of Tottenham's new Under Armour kit. Under Armour is the Official Technical Partner of Tottenham Hotspur FC. Under Armour is a leading performance apparel, footwear and accessories brand. For details of the new kit go to www.tottenhamhotspur.com