Spurs signing relishes Premier League rivalry with international team-mates

Spurs signing Jan Vertonghen is relishing the chance to lock horns with his international team-mates as he prepares for his debut season in the Premier League.

Tottenham’s new centre-back is set to line up against his fellow Belgians Thomas Vermaelen, Vincent Kompany, Moussa Dembele, Marouane Fellaini and Eden Hazard in the upcoming campaign – and he is determined to come out on top.

“I’m sure there’ll be a rivalry there, especially when we’re with the national team. I think we will talk about the Premier League,” said Vertonghen.

“All of my colleagues in the Belgium team say that wherever you play [in England] it’s a great atmosphere. It’s the best competition in the world and fortunately I’m going to be in the Premier League as well now.

“Dembele, Kompany, Vermaelen – they’re all amazing players and I look forward to playing against them.

“I spoke to Thomas when he had just won the last derby [against Tottenham] last year, and he was really glad to win it. This year I want to beat him.”

Spurs had initially hoped to sign Hazard from Lille as well as landing Vertonghen, but the 21-year-old has joined Chelsea instead - and Vertonghen admits that the Blues will be much more dangerous as a result.

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“Eden Hazard is a really amazing player,” said the Spurs defender. “He did a lot in France and I know him from the national team.

“He’s a small guy but his technique is really amazing and I think people will enjoy his way of playing in the Premier League. I hope he will do well – but not that well!”

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