Former Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen has revealed he played through concussion symptoms for nine months as he fought to earn a place in Spurs’ starting lineup.
The Belgian left Tottenham to Benfica at the end of last season, after he rejected a new contract with the north London side.
Vertonghen had a collision of heads with Toby Alderweireld in the Champions League semi-final first leg against Ajax in 2019.
He was allowed back into the game after prolonged checks by the Spurs’ medical team but the injury became severe and that he had to signal to the bench to be substituted.
Vertonghen, told Belgian outlet Sporza the effects of the injury led to him losing his place in the team.
“Many people don’t know this, but [the head injury against Ajax] affected me for a really long time. I had dizziness and headaches,” he said. “The other day, there was the story about David Luiz and [Raul] Jimenez, in which Jimenez suffered a fractured skull.
“With me, it was my nose and I continued to play, which I shouldn’t have done, according to the doctors. In the end, I think I suffered from that head injury for about eight or nine months. That was the reason why I didn’t play well.
“I had a year left on my contract and I thought I had to play because I had to showcase myself to other clubs and to Tottenham, but when I played, I was rubbish. I just couldn’t produce a good performance. Not many people knew that.
“I think it was in January that I really didn’t know what to do. Match after match, training session after training session, there was more impact. Then it was lockdown, so I didn’t do anything for two months and after that it was better.”
Vertoghen, who arrived Tottenham in the summer of 2012 bagged a total 232 appearances for the English side and found the net seven times during his spell.