The 2012-2013 season has officially begun for Jan Vertonghen. Ajax’s captain was on holiday last week due to interland commitments. Despite the rumours concerning him potentially leaving Ajax, he’s still part of the team for now. He prepares for the new season in De Lutte.
Vertonghen reported to Ajax on Monday in De Lutte with his customary good cheer and enthusiasm. According to his own count, it’s his fourth of fifth time. “But if you count the away matches against Heracles Almelo and FC Twente, I’ve been here very often. I’m familiar with the place.”
Despite a steady stream of transfer rumours over the past few months, Vertonghen is still officially part of Ajax. “The fact that there’s no clarity yet is obviously on my mind. It’s my future, after all. I can’t really say that I’m not thinking about it, because I definitely am. But it’s the way things are right now, so I’ll have to deal with it. The most important thing is to get fit again. I had a bad flu during my holiday, which meant I didn’t eat for a few days. So I’m still getting stronger. So I need to make sure I eat enough this week in De Lutte.”
Vertonghen spent the past weeks vacationing in Portugal, the south of France, and Barcelona. “I was able to rest. I visited Siem de Jong in Barcelona. He’s also my roommate this week in De Lutte. I’ve shared a room with him countless times during the past few years. Definitely during all of Ajax’s European matches and training camps, and also during the early away matches. We see each other privately as well. We know each other really well now. I see him more often than I see my girlfriend. It’s nice to know where you stand with each other. Siem is someone you can definitely count on, both on and off the field.” And, smiling: “And that’s important, because he’s the one who has the key to our room!”
As the transfer rumours play out in the background, Vertonghen focusses on Ajax. “Right now I’m playing with Ajax, so I’m going to give one hundred per cent. I’m a competitor, after all. And despite all of the ups and downs, this is the start of a new season for me. And that start is with Ajax. Of course we don’t know how long I’ll be here for, but there should be some clarity well before August 31 (transfer deadline). I’ll have made my choice by then. But for now, I’m focussing on Ajax.”