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August 2021

The summer transfers: Jan Vertonghen

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By Tony Attwood

One of the vast array of stars we are supposed to be signing this summer, is Ajax central defender Jan Vertonghen.  The Daily Mirror seem particularly keen on him, although it is hard to see why with the array of talent we have in central defence, plus the up and coming youngsters that we have.

Perhaps the key to it all is that Tottenham are supposedly wanting to buy him.  If so maybe Tottenham are about to secure the deal, but are throwing out the Arsenal interest so that they can claim that they “snatched him from under Arsenal’s noses”.  That would be very much in line with last summer’s transfers where we were always apparently “losing out” to other clubs because we wouldn’t pay proper salaries etc.  It was obvious then that some of the deals were not deals at all – just stories set up by rival clubs and agents to try to whip up a market.

So, should we just turn away from this as a typical media page filler?  We have Vermaelen and Koscielny who I think are a brilliant partnership (despite the endless stuff about Kos being “clearly not good enough at this level”) and Per Mertesacker assuming he has his injury sorted by next season.  Djourou is there as a sub, and then there’s the up and comings…

But Vertonghen is Belgian, which is good because that means he doesn’t get to play in too many summer tournaments, and he can play defensive midfielder or full-back.   This is handy given that the injuries we get tend to be all focussed on one area, so we do need a lot of flexible cover.

And the story comes with some extras – notably that Ajax (his current club) is in a muddle, after a series of court cases arguing over who is actually in control of the club, and Marco Van Basten saying that the player is indeed on the way.

So, what else do we know?

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He is left-footed player who likes to come forward and join attacks, and he is captain of Ajax, which says quite a bit.

He joined the youth academy of Ajax as a midfielder, and since his first game in the first team in 2006 he has done his time out on loan and then returned to his main club.

The current contract he has runs until June 2013 so he is either going now, or he needs to sign a new contract.  Johan Cruyff, who came out as the winner in the round of court battles for control of Ajax is an admirer, which suggests that maybe Vertonghen will be encouraged to stay.

He became the first choice centre back at Ajax with the departure of Vermaelen, and is a favourite of the fans, so departure to us would be a difficulty for the club, and for Cruyff. But he has often said that he might leave for a new challenge.  Man City are said to have been watching him too.

He has played at under 21 level and from 2007 with the Belgian national team.  And inevitably he has been in such games.  Normally now he plays in midfield for Beligum with Vermaelen and Daniel Van Buyten in defence.

So in summary…

WE WILL BUY HIM BECAUSE he can play in several positions, and so is cover for all the injuries we are bound to get. He knows Vermaelen well, is a proven player, and doesn’t have to play too many summer international games.  His contract ends in a year, and he has spoken of wanting to move on.

WE WILL NOT BUY HIM BECAUSE we don’t need another centre half, Cruyff admires him, and Cruyff has just won his long battle to regain control of Ajax.

Other players who might, or might not, come

Olivier Giroud’s transfer could come down to how well his club cope with being top of the league.

Do we really need to buy any more players this summer?


Who will come back from loan and play for us?

Lucas Podolski – the man, the myth

Podolski: Detailed analysis of our new player, where he will play, and what it all means


54 comments to The summer transfers: Jan Vertonghen

  • 037

    I think Verthongen is the perfect utility player to buy.
    Can fill in for LB, CB, and DM

  • Gooner s

    Buying a quality CB makes sense, if it is to be Vertonghen fine. This would mean that we would have 4 top quality Cbs; if Vertonghen did come in we would have 3 that can play at full back as well, in addition to our full backs. Djourou is a good player but he is clearly not of the same quality as our other Cbs and he prone to error when under pressure.

    I would like to think that Wenger has looked at this season and said “right ho, we’re not going to be caught by injuries and an under strength, in-experienced squad again” and “Oh, we’re going to get the deals done quickly whether coming or going”.

    It seems that Poldolski is coming, now for a bit more flair and class in mid field to compliment what we have already.

  • steve.

    Don’t get excited lads,lots of talk very little action,typical
    Wenger trick,i’m sure he makes these rumours up just to keep the supporters happy,before the next transfer window closes,
    wenger will say,well the reason we havent bought any new players is,we have got so and so back,and so and so back,from injuries,and several players out on loan,we have far too many
    players as it is.The truth is,Wenger has got at least ten players,on about about £50,000 a week,players that he brought to the club,players that wouldn’t get in our street team,
    players he carn’t give away,as i see it,as long as Wenger keeps
    earning his board of directers,and shareholders vast profits his
    £9,000,000,plus a year salary is safe.Once again,no silveware this season. “UP THE GUNNERS”.

  • Mandy Dodd

    I would not be totally surprised to see him arrive, although not at the expense of Per as some of the media have indicated.
    As has been mentioned, a utility player, who may be helpful in games where we need a more orthodox DM, or if Song is injured.
    Also, by all accounts, a big mate of TV.
    Could be something in this one

  • Stuart

    We wont be buying any proven talent, it’s not the Arsenal way when we have other options already on the books (yes many may not feel they are good enough but it’s what we go with). The players agent obviously wants to make some money so is starting rumours of interest from Arsenal, this should get Man City & Chelsea opening their chequebooks and upping the price. The usual same old same old and everyone falls for it, when will people learn???

  • WalterBroeckx

    Interesting how Stephen has adopted another name now. Did he pay you already Tony?

    Oh don’t worry he will not appear with this venom

  • Seamonkey UK

    This is the signing we really need. Wouldn’t it be nice to rotate the squad with a quality bench of world class players like we had with the invincibles. He is a must signing. We can’t have any defensive problems next year if we want to challenge for the title.

  • grvhgd

    Tony arsenal have already begun negotiations with vertonghen and personal terms are all but agreed and we will soon start talks with ajax over the fee. Negotiations have been going on for a while. Ajax are aware of this and frank de boer himself admitted that vertonghen will be allowed to leave and he’s allowed to bring in any club he’s interested in moving to.”When there’s a club that he’s already interested in – and it’s really got to be a good club – then he will leave. It’s 100 per cent sure.” . Reputed Argentine journalist Javier Perez also has confirmed that negotiations have been going well for a while now; he was the first one to report that arsenal’s increase in vertonghen was concrete at the very beginning of the January transfer window. Like mertasacker was a pretty big influence in the Podolski deal it’s believed that our VC played a huge part in influencing his decision. We will begin negotiations with ajax over the fee over the next couple of days and it is expected that they’ll want a fee in the region of 10million pounds for their captain.

  • Mahdain

    look a Man United fan wanting wenger out..typical and he aint replying any of my tweets!/Goal786

  • robl

    Quality players at the top of their game want, and need to play every week. He appears to be a quality player, so why would he join us as a back up or utility player just in case someone got injured? Need back of for defence? Per & Martin. Need back up for Song? Arteta, Frimpong, and that bloke Wilshere.

  • novicegooner

    a good and versatile player, but we’ve got his much better version in Vermaelen. Why should we waste an estimate of 13 million euros for someone who we don’t really need?

    If Podolski is really coming this summer, I don’t see any ‘star signing’. The transfer will only be potential or unknown players.

    Even with current squad, I’m extremely excited about next season. Wilshere/Ramsey/Chamberlain/Miyaichi/Walcott/Gibbs/Jenkinson/Coquelin. That’s a long list of our future players … and possibly Eisfeld and Martinez, in Carling Cup games

  • critic

    Ppls…sorry, morons, bloody morons and mind numbing morons Djourou hasn’t even played enough in his favorite position this year. He was immense last season when got a consecutive run of games.

    Contrary to popular(which mostly are moronic) Djourou is good enough defender and can challenge all the other 3 for the 1st choice.

    By the same moronic reasoning jack wilshere isn’t good enough as he hasn’t played for arsenal for almost 1 year. Is he?

    I don’t think arsenal will go for vertonghen as they need to buy some attacking options keeping the limited foreign players numbers in mind.

  • grvhgd

    robl to compete on all 3 fronts ie the FA Cup,PL and CL it isn’t enough to have just 2 quality cb’s and wenger seems to have realised that. With squillaci likely to be leaving and even though he did sign a new contract we can’t rule out JD being shown the door. With our injury record you can never have enough defenders.

  • Richard B

    A couple of points – firstly it always used to be the case that Ajax only took on forwards into their academy. Those that didn’t make it as such were turned into defenders, hence their ability to ‘play football’ all over the pitch and hence the invention of ‘total football’.
    Secondly we may have to replace Squillaci who has obviously not settled in well on the pitch (and maybe not off it either) and even Mertesacker may not fit in with the increasing demands on defenders to be able to bring the ball out of defence with confidence and a positive end result. This could be made more the case if we go (like Barcelona) to what is essentially a back three.
    If we did, it becomes vital that we have two left footed centre-backs who will either play alongside each other or cover for each other on the left side of a back three. Miguel needs a successful season out on loan before he’s ready for that.
    Even if we keep the same formation as now, experienced cover for Song is vital. Neither Frimpong or Coquelin are ready for that yet.
    M’Vila could do the latter job but it sounds as if Vertonghen could do both.

  • Yy

    I think realistically all arsenal need to do is get
    Rid of the dead weight players ( chamak , park,squillaci,alumina etc.)
    And replace them with a combination of both youth and experience
    E.g.podoski coquilen Lansbury vergton etc.

  • novicegooner

    agree with you about Djourou. He had a great game last Monday, making some crucial blocks. For a backup CB, we couldn’t ask for a better one. Djourou will play well if he plays alongside a better player, and he’s got that with Kos/Vermaelen.

    @Richard B
    what about playing Arteta, Ramsey and Rosicky to cover Song’s absence? Arteta knows well when to make forward runs or to guard the defense. Ramsey seems to have unlimited energy to chase opponents and Rosicky dictates the play. And don’t forget we’ve still got Wilshere. I think Chamberlain can play in the center too.

  • Charlie

    @Critic. I don’t agree about Djourou. Koscielny and Vermaelen are substantially better than him at CB. Incidentally you need to calm down and stop being such a d!ck. Calling fellow fans morons because they don’t agree with your opinion about our 4th or 5th best CB is childish in the extreme. In my opinion Miquel is a better CB than Djourou and should be given more games.

  • Stuart

    Bring back Cygan

  • Nikita

    He’s coming to North London, the red side to be specific. His personal terms are basically done, and Ajax just need to agree a few. However, I think the deal may have hit a road block (this is all according to journalists and people at Ajax) because Ajax have considered throwing in a double deal for AFC. Something between £25-30m lands us both Vertonghen and Eriksen. Eriksen is the CAM we need to break stubborn defences. Now don’t shoot the messenger, I’m not on here tampering with your hopes for my enjoyment, I’m just stating what I hear from ze Amsterdam. Cheers everybody

  • ak47

    i think he would be a decent utility but dj is prooly the best 4th choice in the prem. and for anyone interested. but podolski’s team is playing right now. not sure if he is though.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Keep hearing as lot of chatter about Mathias Suarez being a done deal, must confess I have not seen much of him, but a lot sees to think he is real quality. Of course there may well be nothing in this at all.

    Going slightly off topic, just read PHWs comments

    I can only echo his thoughts on Wenger staying but note he dismisses what we would call the AAA… as mindless!!…..might not go down too well!

  • Sid


    Spot on mate. Djourou is quality and was our best defender last season, before his injury. To consider he is our 4th choice CB is amazing. Only media fed sheep don’t appreciate him.

    Charlie; you tell critic to calm down from calling people names and call him a dick?

  • Rawiri

    I’m really not sure about this because besides Djourou and Miquel there is still Kyle Bartley coming back he can play CB and DM, and is contract was renewed at the beginning of this season and from what was able to see of him and from what I hear he is good, only 21 i think, with Frimpong and Coquelin being 20 i think i dont think they would stick around if we bought M’Vila who’se only 21 or 22. in regards to transfers i dont see too many players coming in unless a lot of players go out, and seriously what is the point of having an academy if we’r not going to give the graduates a chance?

  • Qwerty

    CAn anyone tell me who is this “aaa” to whom everyone on this blog keeps referring to ??

  • ak47

    young young young. sigh.

  • Mahdain

    its getting beyond embarrassing..seriously what a joke this league is

  • marcus

    Struggling to keep up with your wealthy neighbours?

    Feeling overwhelmed by cheques you can’t pay?

    Accustomed to a 5 star lifestyle, but only packing 2 stars these days?

    Don’t worry! Refs-R-Us are always on hand to offer a helping hand to your to tired middle of the road team…

    Just ring 0800 0000000 and use the password, “SirAlex” , and we’ll put you straight through to our helping hand team …..

  • Arun

    It’s yet another dive and the ref was in a good position to see it. Just reminds me of the fact that to win this league, you need to buy referees not players. Shit.

  • SouthernGunner

    Watched Ajax play ManUre in the Europa Cup (love that I can use “ManUre” and “Europa Cup” in the same sentense!) earlier this season, purely because we were linked to Vertonghen. Although it was only two games, I have to say, I liked the sort of player he seemed to be. His physical atributes were good; big guy, good strength & technique. But what I liked most was his attitude. Led by example, composed, worked hard but didn’t waste any effort. Seemed like a senseable type of person you’d want in your side.

    And as mentioned before, his ability to play in a few differnt positions could come in handy, kind of like a Belgiun version of Gilberto Sila 🙂 If the boss decides that he’s what the team needs, then I wouldn’t be disappointed.

  • Mandy Dodd

    yet again, the ref disgraces the game at OT, not that you will see the Villa manager complaining too much as his lord and master is chief beneficiary….again…
    Think this now puts Young up there with Bale and Suarez on the cheating stakes

  • iniez

    I have to agree with what you wrote near the top Tony, I’ve actually been thinking the same lately. I feel like they’re just building up vertonghen only to disappoint us and possibly foster resentment towards the club. Unless we’re losing one of mertesacker, djourou, koscielny, or vermaelen (and I highly highly doubt it) I just don’t see any chance of bringing in vertonghen, even our midfield is full. He won’t come to be a sub so it would have to be a first team member he’s replacing, and frankly I don’t think arsene would be so quick to break up our back 4. I just can’t see it happening. Maybe its that no one else is really bidding for him and as usual we’re the transfer catalyst that are supposed to get others interested and get his price up, who knows

  • Mandy Dodd

    Have to say, losing JD for Verthongen never really entered my head, I was assuming there was an implication Per would be on his way with recent media reports.
    JD is not a great RB but he did his stint for the team and I think he does a good job as a CB

  • qwerty

    AAA is the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal – the group of people who criticise Arsenal in simplistic terms while claiming to be fans. Often their comments begin, “I’ve been a season ticket holder for 25 years and this is the worst Arsenal team I have ever seen” (forgetting the time we came 14th, or the quality of play under Rioch).

    I am rather proud of AAA since it is a name we invented here on Untold. Other inventions include “Rotational fouling” and “Rotational time-wasting”, and a few others.

  • Arvind

    We do not need Jan Vertonghen unless Mertesacker is going to be sold..which he is not. I’m happy with DJ staying and getting playing time.

    On another note…does this seem familiar??

    8: It looked a soft penalty as there was not much contact and Young’s fall was theatrical, but referee Mark Halsey had no doubts.

    7: GOAL! Rooney sends Shay Given the wrong way and United have the lead.

    6: Young takes a tumble under the challenge Ciaran Clark and a penalty is given.

  • RedGooner

    I think AW seems to favour having 5 Cbs and I hope we do buy him and loan Miquel to Bolton for a season.
    With wiltshire comming back I cant see us buying Goetze and would sooner we hold onto Benayoun for another 2 years he adds value a different option to the team.

  • bass

    not saying its going to happen but if we paid 35-40m which we got from nasri and cesc to get eriksen and vertonghen wouldn’t that solve all our problems? those two and we’ll have the most creative attack in the league along with the best defense and they’re both quality players and still young

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Given we’ve lost Kos for two games because he racked up ten yellows and Per because of injury, we need all the top class CBs we can get.
    Barca want to play ten midfielders, so we’ll play five strikers and five defenders, purely for variety’s sake.

  • RedGooner

    Anyone just see that second Chelsea goal ? Oh My God …… lol
    Martin Atkinson is a clown how did they not give the foul by John Terry firstly and why give a goal when a ball NEVER crosses the line …It was given for Matas body language ? sickening …

  • WalterBroeckx

    words like the Webbalty (a penalty for United when they need one and where there is nothing really on)

  • Adam

    I have always been partial to bringing Martin Keown back as a substitute. We can strap him to a sack trolley at the side of the pitch and cover his face with a Hannibal Lecter mask. Maybe even park a Cannon next to him.

  • The BearMan

    I watched Vertonghen played for 90 minutes and I must add, AW would be a fool to let this very intelligent player pass us by. I was particular impressed by his coolness and confidence on the ball, his ability to read the game, his positioning, his leadership qualities and the efficiency he goes about his task.

    I still believe I have done the lad a dis-service for not listing all his competencies!

  • WalterBroeckx

    just take a look at this goal from our Joel Campbell on loan at Lorient to win 2-1 against league leaders Montpellier. nice one

  • marcus

    Clear dive by Young…(again)

    Funny how the “media” screamed foul when Eduardo avoided a leg breaker……but are silent on these ones 😉

  • Jabobite Gunner

    the stories Tony writes ie m’villa, Giroud, vertonghen etc are written tongue in cheek (I don’t think Tony would mind me saying this), I know that a lot of us already realise this and I’ve got no doubt these articles are just a bit of fun he has winding up the glory hunting arsenal fans among us. tbh, until the podolski transfer is officially announced I will not believe that it will happen and irrespective of the potential of a poldi tranfer (or not), I fully trust Wenger to make the suitable transfer ins and outs.

    please feel free to comment more on vertonghen impending transfer (LOL)

  • malaysian gunner

    Anothe Young dive. Looks like the epl is heading to OT.Get ready for it.

  • dan

    Isn’t Martin Atkinson as Chelsea ref??? Footballisfixed have acknowledged this, have a look at the performance stats via the website mentioned.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think dogface also has said this and this was his worry last week as an Arsenal win could be bad for Chelsea.

  • ak47

    adam-nice :-).

    dunno if it my comp but that link ay got nowt on it walter.

  • ak47

    if he meant that first touch to get into that space what a prospect.

  • dan

    Check out this fool (Kevin Mc Carra), Sport Journalist for that quality paper THE GAURDIAN.

    Writes shit about us, but, no mention of Young’s dive!!!

    Super Prick

  • Damien Luu

    As about Vertongen and Podolski, they are surely quality players and I will be glad if both are coming, but I expect only one (or none) of them to come, and if that’s the case, I expect the latter.

    I can see some “surprising” factors in our team next season, hopefully in positive way, which are Park, JD, and maybe Ryo. I also expect one “surprising” buy from AW in next summer, which would make our next season greatly exciting.

    Love AW more everyday. He is ONLY zillion times smarter than The Rednose XX – Lão Mũi Đỏ XX 😉

  • kc

    Don’t think we needed another CB or versatile player. Met third choice and Djuorou fourth choice, both are internationaland good enough cover.
    M’Villa or Hazard will be money better spent.