Can Vincent Janssen step up to score the goals in Harry Kane's absence?
Tottenham suffered a blow over the weekend as Harry Kane picked up an ankle injury against Sunderland. Mauricio Pochettino has stated that they don’t want to put a timescale on his return, which is concerning for supporters as he is their most reliable source of goals. Even this season, he has scored in his last two matches, despite not playing that well.
Although it is a setback, Pochettino will be hoping that this year he has the tools to deal with an injury to Kane. The club brought in Vincent Janssen from AZ Alkmaar over the summer and he will now be expected to step up to take over the striking role in Kane’s absence.
Throughout his career, Janssen has grabbed every opportunity that has come his way. Despite his poor start at Tottenham, another chance has come his way and he will be eager to take advantage of it. There have already been comparisons drawn with Roberto Soldado, given that the Dutchman is working hard but snatching at chances in front of goal. These are a little premature as he hasn’t played a great deal and has to adjust to a new league. The Eredivisie and the Premier League are completely different.
That said, Janssen appears to have the attributes to be a success in England, but he needs to show it soon. Otherwise he could be labelled a flop, which is a difficult tag to lose.
Over the first month of the season, the Dutch international has played just 225 minutes in all competitions, which isn’t a great deal considering the price that Tottenham paid to bring him to the club. He is taking on fewer shots than he was in the Eredivisie, which could show a lack of confidence.
His finishing stood out for AZ, especially in the second half of last season. It is somewhat surprising that he looks nervy in front of goal for Spurs, but it could be a case of needing that first goal to relieve the pressure. That needs to come in the next couple of games as it is unknown how long he will have to deputise and Tottenham need a striker that will be a goal threat.
In terms of his style, Janssen is quite similar to Kane in terms of his physicality and movement. He has an arguably higher work rate than the club’s first choice striker, which could add another dimension to the pressing game implemented by Pochettino.
Also, Janssen is a great passer, maybe unsurprising given that he is a Dutch international. He will create chances for others and if he is given a prolonged run in the side, his creativity will stand out and become an asset to the side.
The goal burden won’t be able to be taken on completely by Janssen, as he is still settling into a new league, but his creativity will help the midfielders become a bigger goal threat. Dele Alli, Erik Lamela and Son Hueng-min are all players capable of chipping in with a few goals to prevent the team suffering from the absence of Harry Kane. It will be interesting to see how Pochettino deals with a loss of his key man.
Janssen is a huge talent and is only 22-years-old. It was a good move from Tottenham to bring him to White Hart Lane, as he is seen as the long term number nine for the Netherlands. He needs patience as he adjusts to English football and this injury to Kane could help him significantly. The Dutchman knows that he will be getting minutes on the pitch and can focus on improving his contribution on the pitch. Although the injury to Kane is a blow, this is why Janssen was signed, and there needs to be faith placed in him.
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