Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen says Arsenal wanted to sign him in the summer to help fill the void in midfield.

The Belgian defender moved to Spurs from Ajax in the summer having been heavily linked with a move to The Gunners.

Vertonghen has begun life in English football in impressive fashion, showcasing his skills of versatility having featured at centre-back and left-back already this season, and the 25 year old says Arsenal wanted to bring him to the club in the summer to feature in midfield.

Jan Vertonghen
Vertonghen turned down a move to Arsenal.

"(Arsenal's interest) was concrete, but they wanted me to be a controller in the midfield, an Emmanuel Petit-type," he told NUsport.

"I'm not afraid of competition, but the overall picture of Spurs appealed to me more."

"Ultimately, I just came to play at centre-back," he added. "Gareth Bale had to play left-back, but it did not work so he pushed forward and I moved to full-back.

"I see myself as a centre-back. I'm not agile enough to play against players like Nani and (Raheem) Sterling."

Arsenal sold Alex Song after Vertonghen moved to Spurs last summer, while they have suffered further injury to Abou Diaby.

Jack Wilshere has however returned to the fold but Arsenal may still seek to bolster the position come the January transfer window.

Vertonghen meanwhile has started all but one of Tottenham's league games this season, becoming the first-choice in the club's defence with Benoit Assou-Ekotto on the side-lines and the fitness of Michael Dawson and William Gallas having wavered.

While under Andre Villas-Boas Tottenham have lost none of the attacking fluidity, they have sustained an early challenge for the Premier League's top four and a return to the Champions League and Vertonghen adds that the club's attacking style makes it a great place to be.

"(Being at Spurs) is great because of the philosophy the club want to implement, what I think about football and the way we should play," he said.

"I think we should have a go, play well and be open."

Tottenham will seek to swell the pressure on the top three when facing Swansea City on Sunday where a heavy victory, with Chelsea competition in the World Club Cup in Japan, could propel the club into the top three and within touching distance of the Manchester pair.