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Happy returns

Posted on 14 April 2016  - 17:55

Toby Alderweireld was impressed with how Jan Vertonghen slipped faultlessly back into the groove against Manchester United after two-and-a-half months on the sidelines.

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The pair had been ever-present at centre-half in the Premier League this season, prior to the latter picking up a knee ligament injury at Crystal Palace on January 23.

Since then Toby has maintained his excellent form alongside Austrian international Kevin Wimmer, who has also been impressive since he stepped in.

But after Jan marked his return to action in Sunday’s 3-0 victory against United at White Hart Lane, Toby praised his Belgian compatriot for instantly picking up from where he left off at Selhurst Park earlier this year.

“It’s nice to see Jan back and I think he did very well on Sunday,” said the former Atletico Madrid defender, who also teamed up with Jan at Ajax earlier in his career. “It was difficult for him after not playing any games for nearly three months and then starting against Manchester United but I think we helped each other.

“Jan works very hard and I think that’s an example of the sort of thing we do at the training ground – if you don’t play or you’re on the bench or injured, you train so hard so that when you have to play you will be ready for it.”

With Kevin also in form prior to Jan’s return, the competition for places at centre-half is sure to be as intense as ever in the run-in to the end of the season.

Toby, the only member of our squad to have played every minute of this Premier League season to date, is fully aware of that and underlined how he’s equally happy to operate alongside either Jan or Kevin.

“I feel comfortable with both,” said the 27-year-old. “I think we have to mention Kev because he did very well in the absence of Jan, so I think he deserves credit as well. Both are very good defenders and they are important players for us.”