2012/13 Barclays Premier League
An accomplished left-footed centre-back who can also play in defensive midfield or at left-back, Vertonghen is a highly adaptable and multi-talented player who joined Tottenham in the summer of 2012.
He began his career with Beerschot in his native Belgium before being snapped up by Ajax for their youth academy in 2003. Henk Ten Cate brought him into the first-team in the 2006-07 season but loaned him out to RKC Waalwijk in the second half of the season. It was a decision Ajax would come to regret: Vertonghen scored against his parent club in a 2-2 draw, and Ajax lost the title on goal difference.
Vertonghen began to establish himself in the Ajax first-team the following season, playing alongside Johnny Heitinga while Thomas Vermaelen was absent through injury. From then on he went from strength to strength, cementing his place in the team, earning his first call-up for the Belgian national team in May 2007 against Portugal, and finally awarded the captain's armband for his club in the summer of 2011.
Vertonghen has regular drawn comparisons with Vermaelen, with whom he played at Ajax, and he decided to move to Spurs to join Andre Villas-Boas ahead of the 2012-13 season.
Strengths: Technically adept, intelligent, adaptable and good in the air, with a powerful shot.
Weaknesses: As an attack-minded defender, he can leave gaps at the back.
Career high: Finally winning the Eredivisie in 2010-11 as Ajax ended their seven-year title drought.
Career low: The 2006-07 season ended up with Ajax missing out on the title on goal difference and loan club RKC Waalwijk being relegated.
Style: Classy, versatile, strong, a defender with an excellent ability to read the game.
Quotes: "He is perhaps the best player in the league at the moment. With his power, passing, positional sense, pace and ability to score goals, there's no one better." Ajax boss Frank de Boer, August 2011
Trivia: At the end of 2011, Jan Vertonghen was voted second in Voetbal International's poll to find 'De grootste etterbak' ('the biggest arsehole'), presumably because of the enmity towards Ajax in the Netherlands.
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE