After scoring a staggering 32 goals in 49 appearances for AZ Alkmaar last season, Vincent Janssen has caught the eye of multiple footballing giants from around the world, including PSG and Wolfsburg. However, Tottenham remain in the driving seat for his signature and for the £18 million AZ Alkmaar want, this may be an incredible signing. But what could he actually bring to this Tottenham side?
A natural born goal scorer, Janssen started his career at SV TOP in 2000 aged six before moving to FC Oss in 2002. He played there for four years before moving to Dutch club NEC in 2006 and eventually finishing his youth career at Feyenoord, moving to them in 2009 and playing with them until 2013 when he was released. From a young age, many people seemed to doubt Vincent and his abilities as stated by his family in an interview recently with the media.
Shortly after being released by Feyenoord, Vincent remained optimistic and attended trials for multiple Dutch clubs until second-tier side Almere City managed to agree a deal with the free agent in late 2013. Almere coach Fred Grim stated that he greatly admired Janssen’s attitude and work ethic and continued to encourage it and him to benefit him as a player. Janssen studied the movements, body language and technique of Dutch players before him, attempting to mirror their attacking threat as well as perfect his own style.
Over the next two seasons, Janssen scored 32 goals in 74 games for Almere City until AZ Alkmaar found become interest in the front man. They had just lost their own attacking threats in Steve Berghuis and Aron Johansson when a scout recommended Vincent to them. Multiple members of staff from AZ Alkmaar attended the Yanmar Stadion to monitor Janssen and his current situation. AZ Alkmaar were greatly impressed and in the summer of 2015, Vincent Janssen signed a four-year contract with the side for an undisclosed fee.
Janssen was assigned the number 18 shirt at AZ. Despite failing to score in his first seven games in an Alkmaar he soon broke his duck and found his scoring boots with a double against FC Twente. After the winter break, however, Janssen’s true goal scoring form was recognised; with six goals in his first three matches of 2016, Janssen scored consecutively in seven games at the start of the year. His impressive form continued, notably when he scored three against Feyenoord in a 4-2 win; scored two against SC Cambuur and netted four against PEC Zwolle in a 5-1 win. Janssen continued this form throughout the rest of the season. He became the youngest player to score more than 25 in an Eredivisie season since Ronaldo did for PSV in 1994-95 and helped AZ grab a Europa League spot finishing fourth having won 18 of the 34 games, scoring an astonishing 70 goals, something only bettered by Eredivisie champions PSV and runners up Ajax.
On the 25th March, Janssen was called up upon for what would be his first appearance in a Netherlands shirt against France. He came on in the 82nd minute for Luuk De Jong but was unable to help his side grab the decisive goal which would’ve seen them win 3-2, instead Blaise Matuidi scored the winning goal for France in the 87th minute. Due to his positive performance for Netherlands in just the few minutes he played and for the outstanding performances for Alkmaar, Janssen was rewarded with a place in the starting line-up for the friendly against England, Janssen made this game his own.
England took the lead just before half time with Jamie Vardy grabbing the goal from a Kyle Walker assist, but England never looked settled, especially defensively. Shortly after the break, some sloppy play from England resulted in Danny Rose handling the ball and Janssen was there to dispatch the penalty and make it 1-1. Janssen continued to hound the weak England side and in the 77th minute, embarrassed Phil Jagielka leaving to the defender on his backside and allowing Janssen to pull the ball back across goal for a tap in from Luciano Narsingh. Janssen was taken off in the 93rd minute of the game as Netherlands managed to hold out for Janssen inspired win against England. On the 27th May, Janssen started alongside Luuk De Jong for the 1-1 draw against the Republic of Ireland but was replaced in the 75th minute by Bas Dost after a mediocre performance. Janssen was consecutively selected again for the friendlies against Poland and Austria, of which Netherlands came out as winners (2-1) and (2-0) with Vincent scoring in both games.
Back to the big question. What could Janssen bring to the Spurs side?
With Kane as our only out and out striker, we desperately need somebody else to be there to take the pressure of Kane. Janssen is a like for like potential replacement for Kane, so whether he’ll play second fiddle to Kane or if Poch decides to play them up front together seems to be the topic of discussion amongst us fans, however we would greatly benefit with Janssen in the side. Whilst he stands at a mere 5’11, he has shown how he can be a very physical presence as well as a confident and successful player in the air to score goals. He’s both footed, meaning he could easily be played either side of Kane. He’s not that quick but once he gets going is hard to stop, he benefits from the fact of being small as he’s able to move his legs much quicker with the ball at his feet rather than a bigger striker who may struggle with that close ball control. This would send out a clear message to the rest of the league for sure, with our intentions to challenge at the top of the table.
With a striker, a defender, a holding midfielder and an attacking midfielder Poch’s targets this transfer window, it seems he is keen to revamp the Spurs starting line up to further excel our brilliant performances from last season. With Wanyama already here and now more than likely Janssen arriving, who is there left that Mauricio wants to bring in?
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