Vincent Janssen has now played seven times in the league for Tottenham and has yet to open his account. The decision to bring the Dutchman to the club was always a risk considering he had played just one season in the Eredivisie and there are already some writing the former AZ striker off as a flop. It is too soon for that and Janssen needs to be given time to adjust to English football. He hasn’t been helped by his role as the striker has been in and out of the team.
There are reasons for Spurs’ fans to believe that he will improve in the coming months, as he had a similar start at AZ last season. At the beginning of the season, he struggled to make an impact in Eredivisie matches, but he has a great deal of self-belief and that allowed him to find his form eventually. He will be hoping for a similar rise from the ashes at White Hart Lane, but it will be a lot more difficult this time due to the increased quality of the Premier League. Also unlike at his former club, Janssen is a squad player at Spurs and won’t be selected for the first team when every player is fit.
It was hoped that the injury to Harry Kane would give the Dutchman an opportunity in the first team, but Mauricio Pochettino decided to go without a striker in the match against Manchester City. It was the correct decision as Spurs managed to become the first team to beat Pep Guardiola. However, his choice to use Son Heung-min as a forward rather than Janssen could have a draining effect on the 22-year-old’s confidence.
That said, Janssen has managed to retain his spot in the Dutch national side and over the international break, he has managed to return to scoring ways with a goal against Belarus. Although the opposition wasn’t the strongest, it will provide a huge boost to his confidence and he will return to Tottenham in a better frame of mind. It is crucial period for Janssen’s career in the Premier League as the media and supporters in this country aren’t a patient breed. For that reason, he needs to break his Premier League duck soon or the unwelcome comparisons to Roberto Soldado will continue.
Janssen was targeted in the summer due to his high work rate and the potential that he possesses. Pochettino will have recognised that the striker wasn’t ready to be a leading player for the team just yet, but his personality makes him a perfect fit for the squad being built at White Hart Lane. Those who are doubting Janssen need to remember that there have been very few flops since Pochettino took the manager’s job and the Argentine is the best man to get the best from the Dutch international.
Last season, Janssen forged a reputation for running tirelessly for his side as well as his cool finishing in front of goal. Since moving to Spurs, he has continued to show the former, but he has looked nervy when shooting at goal. The pressure of getting that first Premier League goal is weighing heavily on his mind and the growing doubts among supporters will only increase the pressure further.
The next month is going to be an important one for Janssen as Harry Kane isn’t scheduled to be back until the beginning of November. As the other recognised striker in the squad, chances will be coming Janssen’s way and it is pivotal that he gets himself a few goals to put the pressure on Kane. It is unlikely that Janssen will be able to displace his striking rival this season, but he can at least compete. Last season Janssen had an excellent finish to the season and ended it as one of the hottest properties in Europe. He has the talent to succeed in England, it is now time to show it.