Vertonghen: Suarez the difference between Tottenham and Liverpool

Jan Vertonghen believes his old Ajax teammate Luis Suarez is the reason Liverpool are challenging for the Premier League title and Tottenham Hotspur are fighting for the Champions League, Sky Sports has reported.

The two teams were previously competing for fourth place but the Reds have pushed up the table and are competing with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City for top spot while Spurs are battling with Arsenal, Everton and Manchester United for a place in the Champions League.

Asked why the clubs have taken different trajectories in recent weeks, Vertonghen was sure of the cause. “Suarez. Suarez is the reason for that,” Vertonghen said.

“At the moment he is up there as one of the best strikers in the world. I think he is the difference between the teams,” the Belgium international added. “[Daniel] Sturridge obviously is doing well and those two are very hard to stop.”

Suarez and Vertonghen were together at the Amsterdam club until Suarez moved to Anfield in January 2011. Vertonghen headed to White Hart Lane in the summer of 2012.

Despite rating Suarez so highly Vertonghen has also been impressed by Liverpool as a whole. The sides meet next weekend and the centre-back is ready for a tough game. “They are one of the best teams in the league and they show it every week,” he said.

“It is going to be very hard, especially at Anfield, and I hope we can play as we did last season because we did very well, not the result but the performance.

“We will try as many points as possible [in the rest of the season] and, in the end, we will see what we get. We will not give up until [the fourth place battle] is mathematically over. We will try to get as far as possible. With the mentality in the team, there is nothing wrong.”

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