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Why concrete World Cup star can replace Spurs’ wantaway defender

| 14.07.2014

After the chaos of last summer, and the appropriately shambolic season that followed it, Tottenham Hotspur fans will have been hoping for a slightly quieter transfer window this time around.

However, with every other club in the Premier League’s top eight making significant moves already, their fans will be starting to get worried that Daniel Levy has opted to save his pennies for a last-minute trolley dash on August 31st.

Spurs are 66/1 to win the league under the guidance of new boss Mauricio Pochettino, but the Argentine might have to do without defender Jan Vertonghen.

After stropping his way through a difficult second season in London, the Belgian has been linked with a £22m move to Barcelona.

At that price-tag, Spurs will be sorely tempted to cash-in on Vertonghen, whose decline in form is highlighted by the fact that only three players made more errors leading to goals than his three last season in the English top-flight.

With Michael Dawson also likely to leave the Lilywhites this summer, they are in dire need of centre-back reinforcements, and Pochettino should prioritise players with Premier League experience.

In that vein, Spurs could do far worse than to target Aston Villa stalwart and Holland World Cup hero Ron Vlaar.

The robust centre-back has been key to keeping the Villans in the Premier League over the past two years, and was the best player on the pitch despite missing his penalty against Argentina as the Oranje went out to Argentina.

Vlaar has just one year left to run on his contract at Villa, whose lacklustre league campaign has been followed by a dispiriting summer where their signings have been restricted to questionable free transfers.

The 29-year-old helped the Holland keep four clean sheets in their seven World Cup outings, demonstrating he has plenty left to give at the highest level, and could prove a bargain signing for a Spurs’ side short of shrewd veterans.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune