Tottenham have announced the first signing of the Jose Mourinho era, with Steven Bergwijn joining from PSV Eindhoven. The manager has been putting pressure on Daniel Levy in the media to enter the transfer market for attacking reinforcements and he has been backed. The Dutchman is an exciting forward, who has been followed by the club for a number of months. He is most effective in a wide role, but he has been used as a centre forward during Eredivisie matches in recent weeks.
The addition of a wide forward will give more options to Mourinho during the second half of the campaign. This was particularly important due to Harry Kane’s injury. Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min have been the men tasked to cover for the club’s star striker, but Bergwijn will put pressure on both of them. It is the former that will be more worried, as the incoming Dutchman has a similar profile with plenty of pace to burn. Although he won’t come immediately into the team, he will want game-time ahead of the European Championships. It is expected that he will help fill the void caused by Memphis Depay’s injury.
This is a pressure that he has been used to since the age of 16. Following Depay’s departure from PSV, it was Bergwijn that was hoped to step up and follow in his footsteps. The pressure has been immediately ramped up at Tottenham, due to the decision to give him the newly-vacated 23 shirt in the aftermath of Christian Eriksen’s departure. That shows the faith that the club have in him. Dutch football fans will be hoping that his move to the Premier League is more successful than Depay’s was.
A quick look into his stats since the beginning of last season underline how he had emerged as one of the leading players in the Eredivisie. Bergwijn had contributed a total of 41 goals and assists. Only Dusan Tadic (63) and Hakim Ziyech (47) had been more productive over this period, both of whom are older than the new Spurs signing.
This season, he has averaged 2.3 shots, 2.8 key passes and 2.5 dribbles per game, underlining the threat that he offers in the final third. Perhaps even more impressively, he has a pass success rate of 87.7%. This is very high for an attacking player. For context, it is higher than new team-mates Son (81.9%), Lucas (75.2%) and Dele Alli (81.6%).
The decision to sign him was an obvious one for the club. Bergwijn adds much-needed versatility and competition to the forward options at the club. He is capable on either wing and in central areas. The Dutchman is a powerful dribbler, but his end product is what allowed him to stand out. He is very impressive in the final ball, as shown by his high pass success rate. His decision making is excellent for a player of his age.
There is a lot of potential to grow in the Premier League, but there will be cautiousness following the previous signing from the Eredivisie made by Tottenham. Vincent Janssen arrived to great fanfare, but he struggled to adapt. It will be hoped the new man won’t face similar issues. Those that have watched him regularly will rank the versatile attacker as a much better prospect with a higher ceiling.
There will be patience with Bergwijn. There is no need to rush him into the starting eleven. Mourinho will ease him in, but there will be opportunities over the coming months. Although this is a signing for the long-term, as Tottenham look to lower the average age of the squad, it will be hoped he can make an immediate impact. The manager has certainly been backed.