Tottenham’s Vincent Janssen is Similar to Harry Kane

ENFIELD, ENGLAND - JULY 12: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) New signing Vincent Janssen of Spurs (C) trains with Kieran Trippier of Spurs at Tottenham Hotspur Training Ground on July 12, 2016 in Enfield, England. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
ENFIELD, ENGLAND - JULY 12: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) New signing Vincent Janssen of Spurs (C) trains with Kieran Trippier of Spurs at Tottenham Hotspur Training Ground on July 12, 2016 in Enfield, England. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images) /

Tottenham’s newest striker, Vincent Janssen, talks about his days growing up but it’s his mentality, work ethic and work rate that makes this a great signing for Spurs.

Winning championships is what every footballer wants to achieve before they hang up their cleats. But along the way, if they start performing very well after a year or two, maybe a couple of seasons, comparisons between certain world-class and/or legendary players start happening.

Vincent Janssen is no exception even though he is only 22-years-old and has only been a Tottenham player since Tuesday. A comparison with another Dutch striker is to be expected just to get a basic idea of what Janssen’s abilities are like.

However, being compared to Ruud van Nistelrooy is quite the compliment.

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Bart Vlietstra of The Guardian wrote a fascinating article yesterday with the help of Dutch paper De Volkskrant, which was about Vincent Janssen and his mother, Annemarie (formerly Verstappen, her maiden name), a couple of months ago to help weave his story.

The comparison between Janssen and van Nistelrooy wasn’t made lightly. Vlietstra says that the Tottenham striker is a rare breed in the Netherlands. To him, there aren’t many who is a one-man army, a team player and a goalscorer all wrapped up into one.

Which is why Ruud van Nistelrooy was Bart Vlietstra’s first thought. Though, perhaps it’s best to say that Janssen is more similar to Harry Kane than his compatriot (more on this later).

The 22-year-old Dutchman understands the comparison with van Nistelrooy but acknowledges that he’s not at the same level at the moment. Even going as far as to say he won’t be as good as the 40-year-old was on his best days.

"“He’s from the town of Oss, just like me,” Janssen said.“Well, I understand that comparison, although clearly I’m not at the same level as he was at his best, of course.”“He was also not super technical but tremendously focused and driven.”“I’m going to do everything for a career like he had. Even if I have to put my hand into fire. Just don’t make me swim.”"

The last sentence, about swimming is said tongue-in-cheek and is a reference to his mother’s days as a swimmer and how Janssen wasn’t a fan of it, but his sisters are.

Now, when it comes to football, that’s obviously something he’s into.

Training as an athlete is hard work and depending on your desire to become the absolute best, it’s even more work. Trying to stay fit in Mauricio Pochettino’s system for an entire season won’t be easy but Vincent Janssen’s work rate at the moment shows that he’s ready.

"“I sometimes train extra till four or five o’clock at the gym if I feel that I have to do something extra,” Janssen said.“You have players who will only do what the coaches ask from them and then go home.”“Football has become more physical, which the Dutch teams noticed in recent years in Europe. You have to be strong if you want to have a chance against defenders of international clubs.”“My body is strong. And I have a strong will.”"

That hard work, putting in countless hours in the training room and practicing on his skills, showed last season when he won the Eredivisie’s Golden Boot by leading all goalscorers with 27 goals.

His form was outstanding as Janssen managed to bag 21 goals after the winter break. Numbers that are quite comparable to Harry Kane’s last year after scoring once in the first nine Premier League fixtures before going on to finish the year off with 25 goals.

The Dutchman was in-form, that by end of March, Danny Blind would call him up to the national team and become Blind’s first-choice striker. And Vincent Janssen responded with three goals to his name already.

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While the comparison to Ruud van Nistelrooy, that Bart Vlietstra made in his article are interesting, perhaps there are more similarities to his new teammate, Harry Kane, instead.

Kane has had some wonderful finishes in his two years as a starter for Mauricio Pochettino. Never one for the flashy types of goals, Kane just hits them in. Janssen has the same mindset.

“I will never do fun tricks, I just want to score that goal,” Janssen said. “I’m always looking for it. More in [Luis] Suárez-style than Neymar-style, you could say.”

Let’s take this a step further. Even at the youth levels, the similarity is quite close between Kane and the Dutchman.

"“At my first clubs, TOP Oss and NEC, I was the one everybody looked at and talked about but at Feyenoord I was one of many good players,” continued Janssen.“If you trained badly there, you got to hear it from everyone. I had to get used to that; also I picked up some injuries.”“In my last year at the youth academy everything finally went well. I scored a lot, we were champions. But I didn’t get a contract.”"

It was a setback for Janssen but that didn’t stop him. “[…] I thought: ‘It’s not finished.’ I immediately thought of the next step.”

Kane suffered the same thing with four loan spells and a foot injury with Norwich City. Not being able to play for his boyhood club until he was 21, surely had to eat at Kane who knew he had the potential to put it altogether. He just needed a chance.

Pochettino gave him an opportunity during the 2014-15 campaign and Kane hasn’t looked back since then.

Lastly, it’s interesting to note that both Harry Kane and Vincent Janssen won the Golden Boot in their respective leagues this past season. But how about having the same mentality to not give up even though you can’t score a goal to save your life?

Yes, even this happened during Janssen’s first and only year with AZ Alkmaar this past term. Really, Mauricio Pochettino managed to sign a striker who is the perfect like-for-like backup and occasional starter for Harry Kane.

“When I did not score a lot at AZ in the beginning, many people said: ‘He can’t do it on this level.’ But I knew that, if I scored one goal, more would follow.”

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As they say, the rest is history and now Tottenham have two strikers who are exactly the same. It’s not uncommon to have similar players on a squad, but this definitely benefits Spurs and Pochettino who has been overly reliant on the Englishman for two consecutive years.

Now when Harry Kane is afforded rest, Vincent Janssen can help lead the attack by himself, just like Kane has done since he was chosen as Mauricio Pochettino’s first-choice striker on November 2014.