Much will be expected of Tottenham’s new centre-forward Vincent Janssen, picked up from Dutch side AZ for a cool £17m, as the 22-year-old seems likely to be the only other player in Mauricio Pochettino’s squad resembling a number nine outside main man Harry Kane.
No doubt Janssen will be hopeful of usurping the England striker off the back of a season when he became the youngest player to bag over 25 Eredivisie goals since Brazil’s Ronaldo in 1995, with 31 eventually plundered in all competitions, plus three international efforts in five matches since March.
Indeed, Kane himself began Pochettino’s reign, still only two years in, competing with Roberto Soldado for the role of deputy to Emmanuel Adebayor, eventually getting the starting gig due to the latter pair’s stubborn lack of goals.
However, with the local boy totting up a whopping tally of 49 Premier League strikes under the Argentine tactician, claiming the Golden Boot last term, his place in Spurs’ first XI seems assured for the foreseeable future.
That means the Lilywhites have splashed all that cash on a man clearly not destined for the starting line-up, but Pochettino and co’s date with Champions League destiny should ensure Janssen makes his mark.
Finishing third behind Arsenal on the final day of last season was a bitter pill for Spurs to swallow, but it hasn’t dented their hopes in the continent’s top tournament too badly, with both North London clubs and champions Leicester in the group stage automatically.
Kane took his chances in the Europa League during Pochettino’s first few months in charge, bagging seven times in six matches before finally landing a first Premier League start under the new gaffer against Stoke in November 2014.
The Champions League is a different prospect, with managers generally unwilling to make wholesale changes, so Janssen may only have Capital One Cup fare to look forward to, bar substitute appearances, until the mid-season fixture list become frenetic and replacements inevitable.
Saying that, the last ‘Dutch Football Talent of the Year’, an accolade Janssen currently holds, was Memphis Depay, who bagged in his first Champions League group-stage fixture after signing for Manchester United last summer, though he went on to do little else.
Tottenham can be backed at evens with bwin to retain their Premier League top four status in the coming campaign.