Belgium will go into tomorrow night’s Euro 2016 quarter final without one of their best defenders.
The Red Devils have progressed to the last eight for the first time since 1980, and while they seem wildly confident about their chances of brushing Wales aside in Lille, they will have to do so without centre back Jan Vertonghen.
The Tottenham defender has suffered ligament damage due to a twister ankle, and Belgium manage has confirmed that Vertonghen will be out of action for 6-8 weeks.
While it was initially feared that the former Ajax centre back would be out for up to four months, those fears have been put to rest. He will, however, miss the remainder of the tournament, as well as being out for the entirety of Tottenham’s pre-season campaign.
Wilmots gave an update on the situation to reporters today, stating that the injury happened towards the end of Thursday’s training session and that there was no other player involved:
“I was about to whistle for the end of training, he received a ball in front of me and fell to the ground clutching left ankle. It will take six to eight weeks.”
The 29 year old took to Twitter this evening to express his disappointment over his own situation, but wished his teammates well for Friday’s match and the tournament going forward.
Gutted to say that my Euros is over. Good luck to my teammates for the rest of the competition ??
— Jan Vertonghen (@JanVertonghen) June 30, 2016
Vertonghen played at left back for Belgium’s fixtures thus far, but the absence of Thomas Vermaelen through suspension meant that he was due to move to the centre to partner Spurs clubmate Toby Alderweireld.
Manchester City’s Jason Denayer may now fill that void, with Jordan Lukaku, younger brother of striker Romelu, filling in at left back.