Tottenham Hotspur have been handed a significant injury boost ahead of their 2016/17 Premier League opener at Everton on Saturday (13 August) following confirmation that Jan Vertonghen has won his fitness battle.
The versatile defender was initially expected to miss the start of the new season after tearing ankle ligaments during a training session held in the run-up to Belgium's shock Euro 2016 quarter-final defeat to Wales in Lille, but Mauricio Pochettino has now revealed that he is fine to feature at Goodison Park.
"Good news, Jan Vertonghen is ready," the manager was quoted as saying by Tottenham at a pre-match press conference held on Thursday afternoon. "Last week was perfect, he trained with the group."
Alongside compatriot, former Ajax teammate and reigning player of the year Toby Alderweireld, Vertonghen formed one half of arguably English football's best centre-back pairing at White Hart Lane last term.
The 29-year-old missed over two months of first-team action after sustaining damage to the medial collateral ligament in his knee against Crystal Palace in January, yet the impressive performances of deputy Kevin Wimmer ensured that the damage inflicted by his absence was minimal.
Tottenham now have an almost entirely clean bill of health before that trip to Merseyside, with only Clinton Njie's status uncertain due to an unspecified injury picked up shortly before a pre-season campaign that culminated in a 6-1 rout of Inter Milan in Oslo last Friday. He was expected to join Marseille as part of the delayed deal to bring French U21 winger Georges-Kevin Nkoudou to north London after finally receiving his work permit, yet the latest reports now suggest that move is in danger of collapsing entirely due to disagreements over the structure of payment.
Mousa Dembele will definitely miss out as he serves the third game of a six-match suspension handed down by the Football Association (FA) after an act of violent conduct committed against Diego Costa during May's so-called "Battle of Stamford Bridge", a feisty 2-2 draw that signalled the final death knell for Tottenham's spirited title charge.
Son Heung-Min is currently away on international duty at the men's Olympic football tournament, where South Korea's U23s have reached the quarter-finals after contrasting wins against Fiji and Mexico that came either side of an entertaining draw with Germany. The Tottenham forward has scored twice thus far and will look to add to his tally against Honduras in Belo Horizonte this weekend.