One of the hallmarks of Tottenham Hotspur’s last season’s success was that of the exploits of England striker Harry Kane. The Chingford-born player has been a revelation for the London-based club ever since he had a breakthrough season in 2014. Mauricio Pochettino has forever been an advocate for the infusion of youth into his team and giving a full-fledged role to Harry Kane has been one of his success stories.
Kane was included in two consecutive Premier League Team of the Year and won the Golden Boot last season beating the likes of Sergio Aguero and Jamie Vardy in the process. Such has been the meteoric rise of the striker that Kane has become synonymous with Spurs. His dependability, his passion and commitment and his desire to play every minute and contribute shows in his body language and he has rightfully become the pin-up boy of the team. Over the past two seasons, he has scored truly memorable goals and especially the ones against arch-rivals Arsenal have gone a long way in endearing him to the fans even more.
Last season, he was the only senior striker in the squad and it seemed a near miracle that he managed to pull himself throughout the strenuous campaign and deliver with the consistency that he did, especially in the latter half. Spurs secured Champions League football and though the whole squad was fantastic, Kane stood out for a second season in a row.
But things are a bit complicated this season. Pochettino clearly realises the risk he had taken while not having a quality back-up/competition for Kane last season. It was a risky ploy, but a ploy which did not hurt them in the end. But with the added European football and the expectations from the team this season, Spurs have secured the signing of Dutch international Vincent Janssen from AZ Alkmaar.
There was an impression that the Heesch born player was largely a back-up for Harry Kane and would be tussling for his favourite spot on the bench with Nacer Chadli. But in hindsight, it was an unfair presumption.
Janssen has scored 27 goals in 34 appearances for AZ. While the quality of the league could be argued, his performances for the National team, albeit for a very short span of time showed that he is comfortable on the biggest stage. He has scored 3 goals in 5 appearances and looks to be an important part of the team in the days to come. He is an excellent finisher and his composure and tendency to pick out the right man in the final third counts as one of his many positives. He had a good pre-season and the immediate effect he had on the team after coming on in the second half of the match against Everton illustrated the understanding with his teammates and his adaptability to the Premier League.
With his potential and ready attributes, there is no reason not to expect more from him this season. And as the Spurs boss himself admitted after the match against Everton, he is open to the idea of more changing dynamics up top this season. While it is widely believed that Kane will be the No.1, he does go through periodic droughts in front of goal and Tottenham will have the option of falling back on another exciting talent to keep up the momentum and intensity.
Poch is a firm believer in the 4-2-3-1 system but it won’t be a surprise to see different formations over the course of the season, mainly to accommodate his new signing and to give him sufficient opportunities to prove himself and the strike-force combo up top with the resurgence of the likes of Lamela make them one of the teams to beat this season.