Vertonghen: Premier League a big step up from Eredivisie

The Belgian says West Brom were stronger than the average Dutch team, but insists he relishes the challenge of competing in what he believes is the best league in the world
Jan Vertonghen says the Premier League is a big step up from the Eredivisie after making his full debut for Tottenham in their hard-fought draw with West Brom at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

Vertonghen, signed from Dutch giants Ajax for around £10 million in the summer, delivered a promising performance alongside William Gallas in the heart of the Spurs defence, but could not prevent James Morrison slotting home a late equaliser for the resurgent Baggies side.

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After the match, the Belgian confessed West Brom were stronger than the average top flight Dutch side, but insisted the formidable challenge of the Premier League was one of the main attractions for him.

"I’m glad I made my home debut," Vertonghen told The London Evening Standard. "The atmosphere was amazing and the lads helped me through this game – it’s a steady improvement.

"I did a few good things and a few bad things, but we cannot be happy with the result. I think we had to win that game. We have a very good team and we have been a bit unlucky. I think last week we deserved the draw and this time we deserved the win.

"It’s a lot harder to win home games here than in Holland, for sure. In Holland we would win this game - not against West Brom but against a different opponent.

"West Brom are stronger than the average team in Holland. They kept on coming and shooting, and the challenge of [Romelu] Lukaku was very strong at the end. When you’re tired they keep dropping off their players and it’s tough.

"But that’s the Premier League. Games are difficult, you have to fight until the 96th minute and keep your concentration. That’s why I came here – it’s the best competition in the world and that’s where I want to play. I want to play at the highest level.

"Now we have a home game again next Saturday, against Norwich, so we have to take that game and four points will help us this season."