In July 2016, Tottenham Hotspur signed Dutch striker Vincent Janssen from AZ Alkmaar for around £18.6m on a four-year deal. He scored 27 league games in 34 games and was Eredivisie’s top scorer. Janssen’s excellent performances in his debut season in the top flight of Dutch football earned him the Johan Cruyff Trophy. This honour is awarded to the Eredivisie’s young player of the year. For somebody who was so highly regarded, when he signed for Spurs, Janssen has failed to deliver thus far.
Janssen has managed just four goals in 27 appearances, none of which have come from open play. However, it might be fair to say that Janssen hasn’t been given a fair crack of the whip. Out of his 27 appearances for Spurs, Janssen has made just nine starts (three in the Premier League, three in the Champions League, two in the EFL Cup, one in the FA Cup).
Vincent Janssen is very much a bit-player. He has only played the full 90 minutes, without being substituted, four times this season (three times in the Premier League and once in the EFL Cup).
When Janssen started for Spurs against Aston Villa in the FA Cup, they were struggling against the Championship side. With 60 minutes played and the score still goalless, Janssen was replaced by Dele Alli. After Janssen’s departure, Spurs went on to win the game 2-0. Perhaps Janssen didn’t take his chance but when he is so low on confidence, it may be too much to expect him to come into the game and start scoring straight away.
When Spurs faced Stoke City at White Hart Lane last Sunday, they were 4-0 up at half-time. Harry Kane was involved in all four goals (three goals, one assist) and the match was effectively over. Considering the game was put to bed in the first-half, it would have been a great opportunity to bring Vincent Janssen on for 45 minutes and give him some much needed confidence. However, manager Mauricio Pochettino left the Dutch international on the bench and brought on Kevin Wimmer, Harry Winks and Heung-Min Son instead. With Spurs so far in front, this suggests that Pochettino does not have much faith in Janssen. He has not yet been at the North London side for a full season, so it would seem premature to write Janssen off but the signs aren’t promising.
Janssen himself is not prepared to admit defeat at Spurs. According to Yahoo, he told De Telegraaf: “I have given myself 12 months to succeed in the Premier League with Tottenham and those 12 months are not over yet.”
Tottenham’s first team is undoubtedly one of the best in the Premier League.They have a strong starting eleven but the rest of the squad is nowhere near that standard. Janssen is a prime example of this. The difference between them and Chelsea, for example, is the bench. Chelsea have experienced players such as Cesc Fabregas and John Terry on their bench. In contrast, Spurs have the likes of Janssen, Kieran Trippier and Moussa Sissoko. None of those players are at the same quality of what Chelsea have at their disposal. If Spurs really want to challenge for the Premier League title in the coming seasons, their bench has to be at the same level as their starting eleven.
Vincent Janssen could one day be good enough to get into Tottenham Hotspur’s starting eleven but at this moment in time, it is highly unlikely. Just like Spurs, this could very well be Janssen’s last season at White Hart Lane.