Speculation has swirled around Tottenham Hotspur striker Vincent Janssen lately. It’s no secret that the Dutch striker has found it difficult to adapt to life in the Premier League this season after leading the Eredivisie in scoring while at AZ Alkmaar last year. Janssen has only made 11 starts this season, most early in the year while Harry Kane was out with injury, and has only scored four goals, all from the penalty spot.
An increasing number of Spurs fans are losing patience with Janssen, and it wasn’t helped after Mauricio Pochettino came out in a press conference and suggested that Janssen needed to “do more” in order to justify additional playing time. Vincent wasn’t even in the match-day 18 for Sunday’s FA Cup win over Fulham.
Janssen, for what it’s worth, has addressed rumors of his dissatisfaction and links away from White Hart Lane in the media, telling De Telegraaf (translation by the Standard) that he still believes he can turn things around.
"I have given myself 12 months to succeed in the Premier League with Tottenham and those 12 months are not over yet.
"The level is really high here. Up until last week we were second in the league. Don’t forget I had only played one season at the highest level in Holland when Spurs bought me from AZ Alkmaar.
"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.
"I am jumping to put the Spurs shirt on, but I will have to prove to the coach that I deserve to play.”
These quotes are essentially a litmus test for what you already believe about Vincent Janssen, because they can be read a couple of different ways. A number of English papers are already running with the more negative read, implying that Vincent is open to a move this summer if he can’t stake a place as a solid Tottenham contributor after his first year in England. That certainly makes for a good headline, and that’s one way of reading it.
But it’s just as easy to take these comments as further evidence that Vincent is working hard on battling through adversity. After all, this isn’t the first time that Janssen has overcome obstacles to be successful. These comments can also suggest that he is driven, working hard, and is capable of making the leap to top level football, just like he did in the Eredivisie.
I’m an optimistic guy, so I choose to believe the latter interpretation. Sometimes players take longer than a year to be successful in English football, and Janssen certainly has shown that he has the drive and the work rate to be successful. All he needs now is to be put into the right circumstance to be able to take his chance. He’s had a rough year, but he should be given more time.