McCoist impressed by Vincent Janssen's improvement since Spurs exit
Ally McCoist has told ITV (broadcast on 21/11; 17:05) that it is amazing to see how Vincent Janssen has turned his career around since leaving Tottenham Hotspur in 2019, with the striker leading the line in the Netherlands’ World Cup opener on Monday.
Janssen endured a pretty miserable three years on the books in North London. Of course, he arrived off the back of a brilliant spell with AZ Alkmaar. He scored 27 goals in 34 games for the Dutch side.
Unfortunately, Tottenham fans never saw that player with Janssen seemingly struggling in the role as Harry Kane’s understudy.
Ultimately, he left having scored just six goals in 42 games. And it is safe to say that he got nowhere near justifying the £17 million fee spent on him.
A spell in Mexico followed. But Janssen is now back playing in Europe, with Anderlecht. And he has been excellent, scoring nine goals in 17 league games ahead of the World Cup.
That form earned him a place in Louis van Gaal’s squad for the tournament. And with Memphis Depay not fit enough to start against Senegal, it was Janssen who started up front alongside Steven Bergwijn.
And McCoist praised Janssen for the way he has turned his career around since leaving Tottenham – though he noted that he has his doubts about whether the 28-year-old is good enough for the world stage.
“Absolutely. It’s amazing because frankly he was poor at Spurs, wasn’t he. He was poor,” he told ITV.
“But again, I’m still not sure he’s the answer. I’m not sure if the Dutch get to the latter stages of this particular tournament – I might be wrong – but I don’t think he’s the guy to get the winning goal in a semi-final or final. Time will tell.”
Tottenham fans are unlikely to have looked at Janssen’s performance on Monday and wonder what might have been. The Dutch looked much more dangerous once he had been replaced by Depay and Cody Gakpo moved more central.
The striker options may be the Netherlands’ Achilles heel in this tournament. Other than Depay, no player in their World Cup squad is into double figures for goals.
Janssen deserves credit for turning his fortunes around again. But Spurs fans are probably still questioning why they spent £17 million on him rather than the decision to let him go.