Yesterday, Benfica proudly presented Jan Vertonghen as his latest addition. The Red Devil was out of contract with Tottenham and opts for a completely new adventure in the Portuguese league.
“It all went smoothly. The contact with general manager Tiago Pinto and technical director Rui Costa of Benfica was a few weeks old”, says ex-footballer Tom De Mul, manager of Jan Vertonghen.
“Benfica has done well to convince Jan, because there were still interested clubs. Benfica has made Jan a priority. They offer him stability and continuity, especially with that contract for 3 years. That is crucial in this phase of Jan’s career. . ”
“There were contacts with Italian clubs such as Roma, Inter and especially Napoli, where at a certain point it became very concrete, but for Jan those 3 years contract were very important, as was the fact that he can play for trophies in the Champions League or certainly Europa League can play and life for his wife and children in Lisbon is very pleasant. ”
“Admittedly, Benfica was not Jan’s first option at first, but gradually Jan started to think about it more and more. In the end everything turned out to be right and the pieces of the puzzle fell together.”
“Jan feels a lot of respect, appreciation and trust. He can perform very well at Benfica for another three years and continue to play in the spotlight of the Red Devils. Because he also has a lot of ambition with the national team.”
After 8 years of Tottenham, the marriage between the English club and Vertonghen broke down, after Vertonghen ended up on the bench under José Mourinho.
“But Jan has no feelings of revenge. He played for a long time at Tottenham and only has positive memories about it,” says Tom De Mul.
“The focus is entirely on Benfica and that is positive: his sporting appetite is so great that he can really play for titles and cups again, as he used to at Ajax. That is at Tottenham, although that is also a very large club, but less so. We succeeded. Winning trophies and achieving something in Europe: that is in Jan’s head. ”
Axel Witsel has a history at Benfica. Witsel was able to tell Vertonghen stories about the club and life in pleasant Lisbon.
De Mul: “Axel Witsel has no interest in convincing Jan to choose Benfica. He spoke only from his heart about the club and was very positive about Benfica. That certainly played a role in Jan’s choice. José too. Mourinho was super positive about Benfica towards Jan … ”