Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen has paid tribute to Manchester City’s “responsible spending” but believes Spurs showed they cannot be discounted in their 1-0 in their Champions League quarter-final first leg win on Tuesday.
Son Heung-min scored the only goal of the game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after Hugo Lloris had saved a penalty from Sergio Aguero.
Spurs will take their narrow lead into the second leg at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, and Vertonghen is expecting a response from a City team that has been expensively assembled over the last decade.
“I think the way City spends, I would say it’s a lot of money,” he told reporters.
“But they spend it in a responsible way. They attract good players, young players and they cost a lot of money.
“But I think we have got a very very good team with an unbelievable mentality. We all want to fight for each other, I hope it’s going to stay like this in the coming years.”
Tottenham face an uphill battle at the Etihad, where City have won their last 12 games, while the north London outfit also suffered an injury blow when Harry Kane limped off the field in Tuesday's second half.
But Vertonghen believes that Son can step into the void left by their talisman and pointed to their success without Kane earlier this year as evidence.
“We have started well, we haven’t conceded yet. Hopefully we can start a reputation.
“Everyone is counting on Sonny. We’ll have Harry coming back from injury hopefully soon. Everyone needs to step up like we did before.
“We won I think all of our Premier League games without Harry and hopefully we can do it again.”
During Kane’s seven game absence earlier in 2019, Spurs won five matches, with South Korea international Son scoring in four of the games.
In his 40 appearances in total this season, the 26-year-old has 18 goals at an average of one every 150.2 minutes.
In the five of those games that Kane has not featured in, Son has scored five goals in 448 minutes on the pitch – one every 74.6 minutes.