Tottenham analysis: Is there hope for Vincent Janssen?

Jul 28, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Tottenham Hotspur head coach Mauricio Pochettino during training in advance of the 2015 MLS All Star Game at Dick
Jul 28, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Tottenham Hotspur head coach Mauricio Pochettino during training in advance of the 2015 MLS All Star Game at Dick /

Tottenham shouldn’t give up on Janssen…yet

In the aftermath of another scoreless outing for Vincent Janssen, Tottenham fans are understandably asking the question of whether or not he’s good enough for Spurs. To date, he’s been one of the summer’s worst transfer signings. Is there any hope for the embattled Dutch hitman?

The short answer to the question is “not much.” It’s very clear that Janssen isn’t the ideal backup for Harry Kane. He lacks the athleticism to really thrive against Premier League competition. Janssen could get away with his lack of explosion against Eredivisie opponents, but many Premier League defenders are simply too quick for him to handle.

That’s clearly presented the Dutch international with a huge learning curve. He can’t score with the same sort of moves at Tottenham that netted him goals for Alkmaar. In a sense, he needs to learn an entirely new set of ways to score goals. You can’t underestimate how much that reality has weighed on Janssen’s mind.

Of course, his mental health isn’t a chief concern for Spurs fans. They want to know if it’s time to give up on Janssen or not. His future at the club isn’t hopeless, but it is fast approaching that sort of classification.

There is a chance that Janssen is a hard enough worker to transform himself into a useful Premier League player. You can already see that he’s changed his game to focus more on trying to hold up play for others. That’s a strategy he is clearly using to counteract his lack of foot speed.

The trouble is, Janssen isn’t a number ten. He was brought to White Hart Lane to score goals. Getting an assist every now and then would be a healthy bonus, but it’s not what the club need from Janssen most. Instead, he needs to become more selfish.

That’s really the only way he can bring himself back from the abyss. He needs to become obsessed with getting himself into goal scoring positions. That means he should constantly position himself at the back shoulder of the last defender. When Spurs are comfortable in position, he should lock himself into physical combat with opposing central defenders.

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Janssen doesn’t have a chance of becoming a well-rounded striker in the Premier League. He simply doesn’t have that kind of athletic talent. The best he can hope for is to become a dangerous poacher. He must focus every ounce of his energy to creating scoring opportunities for himself. Only through a maniacal obsession with that strategy can he save his Tottenham career.

In truth, the odds of Janssen becoming an effective Premier League striker are pretty slim. Spurs should be looking to replace him in the January transfer window. All hope isn’t lost though, it’s not impossible that Janssen could turn his Tottenham career around. Call it highly unlikely, but not impossible.