With a myriad of sources heavily linking Tottenham with a £12m move for Dutch international striker Vincent Janssen over a procession of weeks, we delve into the fact files to really investigate what the AZ Alkmaar striker could bring to the table.
Janssen has burst to the forefront of many a Spurs fan’s considerations on how 2016/17 may look for the Lilywhites after his friendly performance against the Republic of Ireland was watched under the close scrutiny of Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.
With Pochettino seemingly suitably impressed from his day’s outing to Dublin, it seems ever more apparent that the man that netted 27 goals in 34 appearances could be set for a summer switch sooner rather than later.
Whilst many fans have been left drooling at the prospect of another natural born goalscorer – the make up of these goals is also of interest, with Janssen seemingly fitting the bill as the proverbial “fox in the box”, coming alive when the ball finds its away into the 18 yard area. Of his 27 league goals for Alkmaar, not one of them was found from outside the area.
Janssen has also proven his ability to score a variety of goals over the course of the season. Alongside his five efforts from the spot, the Dutchman has also been the beneficiary of four goals from set pieces, scoring two off the head.
Whilst concessions must be made for the relative strengths of their respective divisions, Janssen could also prove to be a more creative alternative (or indeed partner) for Harry Kane. Whilst Kane created a respectable 44 chances, coupled with a single assist, Janssen delivered an even more impressive 56 chances created – of which four led to goals.
At 5’11” with a powerful physique, strong running ability and a repertoire of flicks, it seems only reasonable to believe that Janssen would find no issues with competing with the physicality of the Premier League. He can mix it with the big boys.
A word of warning, however – for every Suarez (35 goals in 33 appearances 2009/10) or Wilfried Bony (31 goals in 30 appearances 2012-13) out of the Eredivisie, there has also been a John Guidetti (20 goals in 23 appearances 2011-12) or Memphis Depay (22 goals in 30 appearances 2014-15). Form in the Eredivisie does not always translate to the Premier League.
Despite having only made his international bow this year, the 21 year old has continued to bring his form to the new platform – scoring three goals in his five appearances as his country look to rebuild on the disappointment of failing to qualify for the European Championship.
At only 21 years of age, the prospect of signing a burgeoning talent with a real eye for goal could prove the perfect foil for the emphatic Harry Kane over the season to come.
One would be entitled to believe that the Dutchman would be hungry to prove himself at a club that delivers a higher level of football, whilst his relatively low profile and tender age would most likely make him a more willing deputy to Harry Kane than the likes of a Lacazette or Batshuayi might otherwise be.
Former Premier League star and fellow Dutchman Mario Melchiot believes Janssen could prove an interesting choice for Spurs: “He scores a lot of goals. He’s really good, he holds up the ball really well, and knows where goals is.
“He has understanding of where he is, he knows goal is without looking at it. He is a really interesting choice
“Technically he should be able to compete. It then becomes about the physical attributes and whether he can handle the pressure.”
If Spurs are to seal this transfer in the coming weeks, we could certainly be looking at a real prospect – should he be able to translate his goal scoring form to the Premier League. At £12m, this could prove the bargain of the summer.
Written by Joe Thomas