• Premier League

Vertonghen to battle for first-team spot

ESPN staff
August 1, 2012
Jan Vertonghen was in friendly action against New York Red Bulls on Wednesday © Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen believes he faces a challenge to ensure that he starts the season as first choice, with five players competing for two central defensive positions.

Vertonghen, 25, arrived from Ajax earlier this summer and will compete with William Gallas, Younes Kaboul, Michael Dawson and Steven Caulker, who was on loan at Swansea last season, for a starting place.

Following the retirement of captain Ledley King, Spurs are approaching the new season with no central defender assured of a starting spot.

Vertonghen told the Daily Star: "It will be difficult for me to break into the team, without a doubt. I knew before I came that there would be a lot of competition. But I am not afraid of competition. It's a big club, and at every big club there is a lot of competition."

The Belgium international also confirmed that he took part in the Tottenham players' induction routine for new squad members, performing a song for his new team-mates.

He added: "I did my song and I am happy it's over. I sang Yellow Submarine by The Beatles. I thought I would take an easy one. I don't know the lyrics of many English songs - but everybody knows that one. Once you start off, everybody else joins in. So I took the easy way out."

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