JAN VERTONGHEN was a surprise exclusion from Tottenham’s matchday squad for their Premier League opener against Aston Villa.
Vertonghen, 32, was expected to face Villa, but he was left out altogether.
Instead, Mauricio Pochettino deployed Davinson Sanchez and Toby Alderweireld in the heart of his defence.
Explaining why he left out the Belgian stopper, Pochettino was adamant it was purely tactical.
Speaking before the game, Pochettino said: “It’s a decision. We decide for different reasons that we will play Davinson and Toby and then Serge on the bench can play in two sides and Dier can play centre-back too.
“It’s impossible to find a place for every player.”
Juan Foyth missed out after he was suspended for the game after being red carded against Bournemouth last season.
Meanwhile, SunSport also revealed that Christian Eriksen was benched for the Villa clash due to speculation over his future.
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The Danish midfielder rejected a move to Manchester United on deadline day to target a switch to Real Madrid.
On Eriksen’s admission, Pochettino added: “It’s the beginning of the season. It’s nothing related.
“Christian, after his duty with the national team, had surgery and he is OK but we prefer he starts from the bench.”