Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen has praised teammate Serge Aurier despite the Ivory Coast international’s wobbly start to life in London.
The former Paris Saint-Germain defender has shared the right back spot with Kieran Trippier this season but has come in for criticism for a series of clumsy performances, notably giving away penalties at Real Madrid and Brighton.
Vertonghen, who himself was named in the PFA Team of the Year alongside fellow Spurs stars Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane, praised Aurier alongside Davinson Sanchez and Lucas Moura.
He told the Independent: “It’s difficult to gel players. But if there are not too many changes, you pick one or two exceptional players that do fit in. Look at Davinson, or Serge Aurier. Both have had a great season. Lucas [Moura] came in January and has been good for us.
“Sometimes you click from the first minute. You have had the same education, the same understanding, the same way of playing, the same way of thinking. Other players you can be with for 10 years and you don’t get it.
“We’re lucky. I have a great relationship with Toby, Davinson, Danny [Rose], Ben [Davies], Juan Foyth. We’ve all gone through the same education, and it helps to develop us.”
Tottenham still have to secure a top four spot to ensure Champions League football next season and recently failed in their pursuit of the FA Cup, getting beat by Manchester United 2-1 in the semi final.
When asked about Tottenham’s season, Vertonghen added: “I think we can be very proud of ourselves. A trophy would show that even more. But now we just have to get in that top four before the end of the season.”