Why Spurs should keep Bergwijn
The Dutchman is still only 23 years old. So, while it goes against our very human nature, patience is required.
As strange as it sounds, Bergwijn was a key defensive tool deployed by Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese gaffer asked Bergwijn to do the hard yards, to track back and be a responsible defensive member of the starting 11. Surely he would have scored more goals had he been permitted to show some of his creative nous. Which, by the way, he possesses in bundles.
While he was asked by Mourinho to reinforce a defence-by-committee setup, it’s not like Bergwijn didn’t get chances. Unfortunately he bundled numerous sitters, which inevitably resulted in a dramatic loss of confidence. But he worked his socks off and remained an asset to Jose’s starting 11. He then suffered two injuries within weeks, keeping him out of the team for two thirds of November, which ultimately derailed his season.
He recovered well from the injuries but struggled to find an offensive touch. Pigeonholed as a role player by Mourinho’s rigid, risk-averse formation, he lost belief in front of goal, evinced by a definitive lack of a killer instinct.
Albeit too few and far between, Bergwijn has scored a couple of screamers in his small sample of Tottenham goals. His rocket against Aston Villa showcased a little bit of everything. He was tenacious and relentless to win back possession and, after snatching the ball, held defenders at bay before walloping a half volley into the roof of the net.