Tottenham Hotspur are sweating over the fitness of Jan Vertonghen with the defender expected to be facing a lengthy period on the sidelines after suffering, what seems like a severe ankle injury, during their 4-0 win over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday (14 January).

Spurs take on Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday (21 January) in what will be a crucial clash in the race for the title and a place in the top four. According to the Telegraph, Vertonghen is certain to miss the tie and the Belgian's absence will be a major blow to Mauricio Pochettino as he is leading their defence, which has been the best in the league this campaign.

The north London club fear that the defender could have damaged ligaments and the Argentine manager confirmed after the match that it looked like a bad injury. Vertonghen could be out for the long-term which will harm Spurs' title prospects, which looks promising as their recent run of six consecutive wins has brought them up to second place on the table – seven points behind leaders Chelsea.

Belgian media has speculated that Vertonghen could be out for 12 weeks, which will see him miss most of the second half of the campaign. Meanwhile, Pochettino has shifted to a back three formation in recent games with the former Ajax defender playing on the left alongside Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier.

In his absence, the Argentine manager will have to turn to Kevin Wimmer or Ben Davies to provide cover or could change formation and return to a more orthodox 4-2-3-1 formation.

Although the scan results are expected on Tuesday (17 January), the player is expected to be out for a lengthy period. However, Alderweireld is confident that his replacement would provide the same level of cover.

"If anyone is injured, there are a lot of people who can play in his place and bring the level he [Vertonghen] brings," the Belgium international said, as quoted by the London Evening Standard.

Jan Vertonghen
Jan Vertonghen is helped off the pitch after suffering an ankle injury during Tottenham's win over West Brom Getty