Belgium blow as Vertonghen out for 10 weeks
Published 01/07/2016 | 02:30
Jan Vertonghen will miss the start of the Premier League season after plunging Belgium into a defensive crisis ahead of the Euro 2016 quarter-final against Wales.
Vertonghen is set to be sidelined for up to two months with torn ankle ligaments sustained in training ahead of tonight's clash in Lille.
With Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany missing the tournament through injury and Thomas Vermaelen suspended, Belgium coach Marc Wilmots is set to turn to youngsters Jason Denayer and Jordan Lukaku as his team bids to reach a major semi-final for the first time since the 1986 World Cup.
Wilmots confirmed that Vertonghen suffered the injury in freak circumstances at the end of Belgium's training yesterday.
"I blew the whistle to stop the session," Wilmots said. "Jan went down to control the ball and he turned his ankle. I'm not going talk about tragedy because there are more important things in life, but it is a huge blow. Mentally and physically, he has been at his very best condition.
"The cause of the injury was a move he would have done 10,000 times before."