It must be a hard job being back-up to Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane.
It must involve a lot of sitting around on the Spurs bench waiting or even worse in the stands. It’s probably cold in the shadow of Kane at Spurs as well.
However, that is the unenviable task of Tottenham’s 22-year-old Dutch striker Vincent Janssen.
The Netherlands international failed to even make the substitutes bench for Spurs 1-0 defeat at Gent in the Europa League on Thursday night. It was a new low for the young striker’s Spurs career.
Challenged by his boss to more
It seems Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino wants more from the striker. Asked about whether Janssen would be in the squad for Sunday’s FA Cup game against Fulham, Pochettino is quoted by Sky Sports as saying: “Maybe, maybe,”
“Against Gent, he was out of the squad. He needs to show more and we’ll see. Maybe he will have the opportunity to be on the bench or play [from the start]. We cannot be sure if he will be in the squad, on the bench or start from the beginning.
“Performance is always about how the players show their quality, their belief on the training ground.
“When you select the starting XI and the bench, I try to be fair. It’s normal that maybe he needs to show more.”
The above statement seems like a challenge to the summer signing. He needs to improve or he won’t see much pitch time.
Struggled at Tottenham
Janssen only arrived at Tottenham last summer from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar in a deal worth £17.5million. In truth, it was always going to be difficult for the striker to be successful at Tottenham. The 22-year-old was prolific in the Eredivisie, but the step-up to the Premier League is a huge one.
Then he had the small matter of knowing he was only ever going to be back-up to Kane. The England forward is the undisputed first choice striker at White Hart Lane and the team’s talisman.
The only time he is left out is if he is injured or Pochettino feels like he can rest players like in the Europa League or Sunday’s FA Cup clash at Fulham, which Spurs are odds of 10/11 to win.
Janssen being left out of the squad is understandable, as the young striker has still not scored from open play for the team from north London.
However, he has made just ten starts for Spurs in all competitions this season, scoring three times from the penalty spot. The fact that the striker has made 17 appearances from the bench may go some way to explaining the lack of goals.
It was always going to be nay on impossible for him to be a success at Tottenham with Kane at the club. Pochettino is a guy who likes to play one up front, so it is not like he is ever going to partner Kane in attack.
Needs to take his chances when they come
It remains to be seen if Janssen will be given his chance to shine on Sunday at Fulham. However, if he is given his chance he needs to take it. Sunday’s game seems like an ideal opportunity to impress and enhance his claims for more regular first team football.
But there is always the caveat of if he does impress will he ever be selected in front of the much-loved Harry Kane at Tottenham? The simple answer is no.
The move always seemed a strange one to me for the player. He had enjoyed a highly-prolific campaign in the Dutch top-flight and at 22 is just at the start of his football career.
So why then make a move to a club where he would never be the first choice striker? It did not make sense. The young striker seems to have something about him, but he will always struggle to be a success at Tottenham.
If he has any ambition or nous then he will move elsewhere in the summer. He is still very young and needs to be playing regular football to prove he can make at the top level. Janssen will never get that at Tottenham, so may never prove himself with the north London club.
Does Vincent Janssen have a chance of making it at Tottenham?
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