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Tottenham: Janssen on goal drought; Bentaleb criticises fans; Arsenal battle for midfielder

Spurs were rather more circumspect in the transfer market than many of their rivals, but one of their three major purchases was the £17 million acquisition of Vincent Janssen from AZ Alkmaar. The Dutchman scored 31 goals in 49 games last term for Alkmaar, but has scored just one in 10 appearances since his arrival at White Hart Lane.

He has been handed a chance to establish himself in the absence of Harry Kane, but Mauricio Pochettino preferred Heung Son Min in the centre forward role during Sunday’s 2-0 win over Manchester City on Sunday. It is not unusual that players who arrive from abroad need time to settle and adjust to their new surroundings, and Janssen is not overly concerned by his lack of goals:

“I want to focus on football and just go on the pitch to do my thing.

“Anyway, I don’t need a mental coach now. Maybe this comes in the course of time, but right now I’m not the type of person who needs it.”

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Despite his lack of goals, Janssen still has the good will of Spurs’ fans who have been impressed with the work rate and link up play he has shown during his limited contributions. It should also be noted that Spurs’ good form has been based on defensive solidity, and that they have been far from free scoring.

With Moussa Dembele soon to return as a permanent fixture in the team, a player who Pochettino once said they ‘do not exist’ without, should make Tottenham a more creative force which Janssen might benefit from.

Elsewhere, Nabil Bentaleb has criticised Tottenham supporters for their lack of support at matches, something he has enjoyed in Germany since joining Schalke on a season long-loan move. The Algerian midfielder looked a very promising player, starring in central midfield in Spurs’ 5-3 destruction of Chelsea on New Year’s Day 2015.

However, opportunities for first team action were limited last season as Eric Dier and Dembele established themselves in the middle of the park. Following the summer signings of Victor Wanyama and Moussa Sissoko, Pochettino’s side now look very well stocked in central midfield, prompting Bentaleb to move on loan. The midfielder said:

“They believe in me at Schalke. I made this decision, and a few defeats won’t change anything.

“We worked hard enough, in every match, in every training session. But we’ve made mistakes and we need to cut them out.

“But we fight and I believe that’s also the reason that the fans support us.

“I don’t know that from England. If you lose there, nobody supports you in the stadium.”

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Finally, according to the Daily Star fierce rivals Arsenal are prepared to battle Spurs for the signature of Real Madrid midfielder Isco, who is out for contract in 2018. Spurs were interested in Isco last summer, and the former Malaga midfielder has publicly stated that Los Blancos have not forthcoming with a fresh contract offer.

Arsenal have plenty of attacking midfielder and Spurs could do with some added creativity, so a move to the white half of north London makes more sense.

Featured image: All rights reserved by Serg Hoholok

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