Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino got very lucky with striker Harry Kane’s fitness last term, when holding practically nothing in reserve in his centre-forward ranks, but the Argentine made sure not to repeat the mistake this season.
Vincent Janssen’s £17m capture now seems prescient following news that Kane is set to miss the next two months after sustaining an ankle injury last time out in the 1-0 win over Sunderland, and the early omens look good for the Dutchman.
Janssen may have failed to score during his 206 minutes of Premier League action so far, but Spurs grabbed crucial equalisers against both Everton and Liverpool after the 22-year-old’s entry into proceedings from the subs bench.
He only made it on for the last three minutes after Kane’s removal against the Black Cats, and was able to take it easy when thrown on with his side 4-0 up at Stoke the game before, but Janssen’s Eredivisie scoring record at AZ suggests he’s capable of picking up the slack.
After seeing out his teens with Eerste Divisie side Almere City, notching 29 second-tier strikes in 69 appearances, Janssen burst onto the scene with 27 goals in 34 games for AZ last term, topping the Dutch charts and becoming the youngest to bag 25 or more since Ronaldo 21 years earlier.
Danny Blind called him up to the Netherlands’ national team in March for the friendly with England at Wembley, where the reigning Dutch ‘Talent of the Year’ scored his ninth goal in an eight-game spell for club and country from the penalty spot just after half-time.
With Champions League commitments alongside Premier League title ambitions, Pochettino won’t be prioritising the EFL Cup this season, but it would make sense for the Argentine to field a strong XI against Gillingham, with Janssen at the tip of a 4-2-3-1, considering he needs game-time as a lone striker.
Spurs are 3/1 to beat the League One visitors by at least four goals.