Unloved by Pochettino, 22-year-old can still be a Tottenham sensation
COMMENT By Danny Wright
He was bought for £17million and has scored just four goals – all from the penalty spot – but Vincent Janssen still has a role to play at Tottenham and Mauricio Pochettino should give him more time to come good.
Janssen has only found the net once in the Premier League this season, and even that was a penalty kick.
The goal-scoring stats may not be on the side of the 22-year-old, but there is a massive gulf in class between the Dutch Eredivisie, from which he moved from in the summer, and the Premier League.
It’s very rare for a player to come from Holland and make an instant impact – look at how Memphis Depay fared with Manchester United.
But with AZ Alkmaar last year, Janssen smashed 32 goals in 49 appearances across all competitions. You don’t suddenly lose that sort of ability to hit the back of the net.
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Some strikers come to England and hit the ground running instantly. In recent times players like Diego Costa and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have moved to the Premier League and got into the goal-scoring groove straight away.
However with others, it takes time.
Luis Suarez is perhaps the best player to have recently moved from Holland to England when Liverpool signed him from Ajax in 2011.
Now Janssen is no Suarez, but the Uruguayan only hit 15 goals in his first 44 Premier League matches for the Merseyside club – and only three of those appearances were off the bench.
Tottenham’s Dutchman has made the starting 11 just five times this season. Calls for the striker to leave the club in the summer seem very unfair given his lack of game time.
Such is the shortness of Janssen’s time on the pitch that he only manages an average of one shot per game according to WhoScored. Not even the best players in the league can thrive off one shot in each match.
Tottenham’s midfield isn’t filled with players who don’t create chances – in fact it’s quite the opposite. Players like Dele Alli and Christen Eriksen feed strikers for fun and Janssen’s poor goal-scoring tally could simply be down to lack of minutes on the field.
Given the form of Harry Kane in recent weeks it would be rash to say that Janssen should start up front for Pochettino, but as a back-up striker who can come in when the Tottenham talisman is injured or out of form, the former Feyenood man is more than capable.
He just needs more time to prove that he was a good signing for Spurs.
He is still young and he can still grow into a good striker for the club. It’s way too soon to call time on him.
In other Tottenham news, club jet out to France on a transfer mission.