Tottenham Hotspur head coach Jose Mourinho has stressed that Spurs newcomer Steven Bergwijn is not a natural striker but appeared to suggest that the Dutchman could be deployed up front again, in conversation with Football London.
Spurs are currently in the midst of an attacking crisis, with Son Heung-min joining Harry Kane on the sidelines after the South Korea international had to undergo surgery on an arm fracture.
In terms of senior attacking players, Mourinho has Lucas Moura, Dele Alli and Bergwijn at his disposal, plus Ryan Sessegnon and Troy Parrott in terms of younger, less established players.
However, Moura and Bergwijn are wingers by trade, Alli is an attacking midfielder, Sessegnon is most used to playing at left-back and on the left wing, and Parrott is fresh out of the academy and has very little first-team experience.
Speaking ahead of Tottenham’s Premier League meeting with Wolves, Mourinho commented on Bergwijn’s performance further up the pitch against Chelsea, saying it was difficult for him due to it not being his natural position.
However, the Portuguese also attributed Bergwijn’s mixed performance to tiredness, and reckons he will perform much better once fresh, whilst not closing the door on another stint up front.
“It is not his position,” the Portuguese told Football London when asked about Bergwijn playing up front. “It is as simple as that.
“It’s the same thing as taking Davinson Sanchez and playing him at right-back, he can, he tried everything but he is not a right-back. The same if you play Vertonghen left-back. He’s a centre-back, can he play left-back? He can, he helps.
“That’s what Steven tried to do in the game against Chelsea and I think he didn’t do better because he was under huge fatigue from 90 minutes against Leipzig. If he could be fresh he could give us much more movement, he could be much more aggressive than he was. So he tries.”
Bergwijn may be a winger by trade, but he has played several times up front for former club PSV Eindhoven this season (Transfermarkt), as well as in attacking midfield.
While his performance against Chelsea may not have reaped dividends, he did his best in holding up the ball, but with so little service coming his way, there wasn’t really much more he could have done.
Nonetheless, with Kane and Son unlikely to be back until the tail end of the season, the quest for Mourinho to find an adequate solution to his crisis up front looks set to continue.