The curious case of Vincent Janssen, and why Anderlecht move makes perfect sense

Frozen out

Something just never clicked, did it. This young, exciting attacker from the Netherlands; he's an international footballer aged 22, had been banging them in for AZ Alkmaar and even won the coveted Johan Cruyff Trophy - Holland's "Talent of the Year" award prior to his move to England.

His transfer to Tottenham turned few heads, it didn't shock many people as his reputation carried weight; he was expected to do the business for Spurs when called upon. Vincent Janssen was supposed to be the perfect backup for Harry Kane in north London. He was never, ever going to be the main man - who would be with the England superstar in front of them?

Janssen was going to be a player for Spurs to nurture, a player that they could slowly integrate into a team who were - and still are - fighting so, so desperately to win their first ever Premier League title. It just hasn't happened, though, for whatever reason, Janssen just hasn't clicked with English football and certainly hasn't found his feet at Spurs, almost three years after joining the club for a reported £17 million from AZ in the summer of 2016.

janssen
It just never really worked, did it?

A lack of playing time has contributed to Janssen's downfall at Tottenham, but just why has he been so overlooked in north London? His stats are far from impressive but football is a game determined almost entirely by confidence; the less opportunity you are given to prove your worth, the harder it becomes to show what you can do.

The Dutchman has made just 42 appearances for his current employers in three years, albeit with one of those spent playing in Turkey on loan at Fenerbahce throughout the 2017-18 campaign.

The majority of the appearances he has made have come from the substitutes bench, too. He has found the net only six times which is not good, of course it isn't, though it is hard not to wonder what he could have done if given a little more opportunity by manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Even when Tottenham faced the most gruelling injury crisis towards the tail end of last season, where leading man Harry Kane was ruled out for months with an ankle injury and Fernando Llorente also found himself in the treatment room with concussion, the Argentine refused to include him in his matchday squad, let alone in the starting-eleven.

Pochettino instead opted to play wingers Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura through the middle, as opposed to a genuine out-and-out striker, which in itself tells its own cutting story: Janssen is not welcome anymore, he never has been and really needs to leave to avoid completely ruining his career.

In good Kompany

Janssen is still young and at 25 still has plenty of time to get his career back on track, but it is all about the choice he makes next. Anderlecht are rumoured to be interested in signing him and with Vincent Kompany now involved in the set-up at the club, it is certainly a move that offers huge potential.

The Belgian defender would provide not only guidance but also a wealth of experience for Janssen, as he looks to regain confidence and respect away from the Premier League. He needs to forget about his nightmare spell at Tottenham and prove to everyone that he still has something to offer, in the only way he knows how: scoring goals.

The top tier of Belgian football is of course much less demanding than the English Premier League, and with Anderlecht currently going through a period of change after missing out on the league title for the second consecutive season last term, Janssen would have the opportunity to be part of something potentially special in Brussels.

Time will tell if Janssen's case at Tottenham was just one of misfortune; whether he was perhaps dealt with unfairly, or whether he simply just isn't good enough.

A move away from north London seems imminent, and should his chosen destination be Anderlecht, we hope he has enough about him to reinvent himself as their main man. If he doesn't, this whole affair would suddenly become an incredibly sombre one.


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