Vincent Janssen arrived at White Hart Lane last summer for a considerable fee of £17m, and has failed to find his shooting boots in a Spurs shirt as yet, failing to score from open play since his summer switch.
The Dutchman has scored on four occasions this season for the Lilywhites, but all four have come from the penalty spot, and Janssen’s inability to find the target from open play has seen the 22-year-old’s first team chances limited to appearances off the bench under Mauricio Pochettino.
Despite his misfiring form of the Dutchman, Janssen has always come across at the hard-working type. His effort during some games has had supporters on their feet as the striker chased down lost causes and continued to give 100% in each and every game.
However, it seems that this hard work on the pitch has failed to transfer onto the training ground at Hotspur Way, prompting manager Mauricio Pochettino to publicly call for more effort in training from Janssen. We have seen that hard work in training and good work ethic under the Argentine results in first team chances, and Janssen on occasion has been omitted from even the substitutes bench as a result of this.
Since this public plea from Pochettino for more effort, it appears that the misfiring striker has responded. Despite not being used as a substitute in the 4-0 thrashing of Stoke at White Hart Lane a couple of weeks ago, Pochettino said post-match that he was pleased with the reaction from Janssen.
“I always try to be honest and fair. I am very happy with Vincent’s reaction over the last few weeks and how he is training now. He realised the need to fight on the training ground and try to give me the trust and the confidence for after to give the possibility to play.”
From that, it would seem that Janssen’s opportunity to succeed at Spurs and prove to the club and fans why Daniel Levy forked out £17m for his services last summer has not passed him by. Janssen himself has spoken out about his frustration at Spurs, and said this a couple of months ago.
“I have given myself 12 months to succeed in the Premier League with Tottenham and those 12 months are not over yet. In a short period of time I have made some big steps forward in my career. I’m not going to throw the towel in just because things are not going great for the first time in my career.”
Even Janssen himself will admit that he is unlikely to prove his worth before the end of his first season in North London, and you would hope that the Dutchman will not ‘throw the towel in’ at the end of this season and look for a move elsewhere over the summer.
Looking at the games before the end of this season, and with Spurs still embroiled in the race for the top four and Champions League football, opportunities are likely to be few and far between for Janssen. Mauricio Pochettino’s positive approach to the FA Cup after the fourth round scare against Wycombe would also seem to suggest that Janssen will be lucky to start in that competition this season.
It is true that many quality players have failed to hit the ground running in their first season in the Premier League, and Janssen can take confidence from that. For me, his chance to succeed at Spurs has not passed him by, and with hard work and a boost in confidence, we could still see Janssen succeed in English football.