Janssen weighs in on Vertonghen battle as Netherlands host Belgium
09 November 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs friends become international rivals tonight as the Netherlands, with Vincent Janssen and Michel Vorm among their number, take on a Belgium outfit including Mousa Dembele and Jan Vertonghen in Amsterdam – and Vincent says he’s up for the challenge of trying to breach Jan and Mousa’s resistance on the field.
Our Dutch and Belgian contingents are often seen chatting together at Hotspur Way and even though they’ll be pitted against each other in this evening’s international friendly (kick-off 7.45pm UK time), there remains a close friendship between both sets of players.
That was clearly in evidence when we caught up with our Dutch striker Vincent, who hailed Mousa and Jan as two of the Premier League’s finest as he contemplated trying to get the better of them tonight.
“It's nice to have the chance to play against each other in an international game like this,” said the former AZ Alkmaar front man. “Mousa and Jan are very nice guys and I think in the positions they play, they are some of the best players in the league.
“Belgium will be strong with Jan at the back – he is a player with a lot of quality and he is showing everyone how important he is for us at Spurs with his current form.
“It's going to be difficult up against him but I know I can score and I will be trying my best as always. If I do score, we will have something to talk about between us when we get back to Spurs! It's going to be a good game, a tough game but of course we will try to win it.”
Tonight’s clash takes place at the Amsterdam ArenA – familiar territory for Jan, who spent several happy years there with tenants Ajax prior to his switch to White Hart Lane in 2012.
Needless to say, our 29-year-old defender – often deployed at left-back for Belgium – sees this as a special game: “Everyone is desperate to play – me perhaps even more so because I know many of the Netherlands players,” he said.
“I follow Ajax very closely. It will be the first time that I return to the ArenA and that gives me a very special feeling. I’ll have family and friends there watching – I’m really looking forward to it.”