Vertonghen had been sidetracked at his club Benfica in recent weeks. The experienced defender was allowed to use the Portuguese top club and eventually his eye fell on Anderlecht.
The deal is not yet complete, but Vertonghen was already medically tested by the club, after which he headed for Anderlecht’s home base in Neerpede.
Why does Vertonghen choose Anderlecht at the age of 35? “Because it is actually the best solution for all parties,” says football commentator Peter Vandenbempt. “He was sidetracked at Benfica after two successful seasons and it didn’t look like he would play much more.”
“Vertonghen knows that he absolutely has to have match rhythm in order to shine one last time at the World Cup in Qatar that is coming up later this year. At the same time, Anderlecht were looking for a central defender. So that actually worked out pretty well. “
“Of course he also wants to show what he can do,” Vandenbempt says. “Let me tell you, there was also interest from Club Brugge. But there are of course more central defenders there. Vertonghen, like Boyata and Alderweireld, is coming back to Belgium and the Chadli file is also being monitored by Charleroi.”
“You could say that it is nice for the Belgian league, but at the same time it is of course not a sign of great opulence for our national team. Because certainly Alderweireld and Vertongen were at the top of their ability undisputed title holders at a top club in the Premier League The fact that they are now entering the Belgian league also means that they are already in the next phase of their career.”
What does the Purple & White hope Vertonghen will add to the young squad? “There are of course a lot of reasons why they want someone like Jan Vertonghen. For example, Felice Mazzu always plays with three central defenders and they are not so thick at Anderlecht.”
“Delcroix and Debast, two young boys, have an injury history and it can’t hurt that Hoedt, who likes to present himself as leader of Anderlecht, is once stimulated by the arrival of a seasoned international.”
“Vertonghen also brings international experience with it,” concludes Vandenbempt. “It was only last season that he reached a level that was good enough to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League in Benfica’s magnificent team.”
“He brings metier and leadership, something Anderlecht had a great lack of in certain matches. Vertonghen is also a vicious winner, so if he reaches the level of last season in the Champions League, then he is an absolute added value for Anderlecht.”