Former Tottenham Hotspur striker Vincent Janssen is enduring a season to forget with Liga MX Apertura side CF Monterrey, a-year-and-a-half on from his costly spell in north London.
Mauricio Pochettino sought to lure Janssen to White Hart Lane in 2016 as his second signing of the summer, joining Victor Wanyama in putting pen to paper with Spurs after Chairman Daniel Levy struck a £17million deal with AZ Alkmaar for the Dutch forward.
Janssen was believed to have chosen Tottenham over rival interest from Ligue 1 heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain and Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg, having attracted suitors from around Europe after striking 32 goals in 49 games during his debut top-flight season to earn the Eredivisie’s young player of the year award.
Pochettino was overjoyed to have been able to welcome Janssen to the club, describing the then-22-year-old as the “perfect fit” for the side he strived to assemble.
“He has a profile that fits perfectly for us,” the Argentine told Spurs’ official website. “He has quality in the box and he’s a striker that likes to fight and work for the team. That is perfect for us.
“We are very happy and excited that he has joined us. His human profile is perfect for the team, we always care about that. In general, he’s a player that fits the team. We’re all excited. It’s early in pre-season, just the second week and he will have time to adapt. We wish all the best for him.”
But Tottenham would never see such impact from the attacker, with Janssen racking up just six goals and four assists in 42 appearances across all competitions before leaving north London for Mexico and joining Monterrey for €7m (£6.2m) in 2019.
With Janssen struggling to make an impact for Tottenham, he would have hoped to kick his career back into gear by joining Monterrey, putting any thoughts of his time in north London far into the past and never giving a second to consider the financial loss Levy had to pay.
Things have not turned out quite like that, though, with the 26-year-old enduring a season to forget in Mexico with just one goal in 11 games after overcoming coronavirus and a later toe injury.
Janssen’s debut campaign in the Liga MX was not much better, either, with the 17-cap international striking just twice in 13 league games on route to 12 goals across all competitions thanks to seven in 10 Copa MX ties.
Monterrey’s €7m signing is not a guaranteed starter any longer, as well, with Janssen only opening six of his league appearances this term as his career continues to stumble four years on from clinching the Eredivisie’s young player of the year award.
It was never personal for Pochettino to omit Janssen before his exit, as the Argentine insisted the striker was simply not up to the task even after injuries to Harry Kane and Dele Alli in January 2019.
“I am so open to improve the squad and add players, with Harry Kane and Dele Alli fit or not fit,” he said, via quotes by FourFourTwo. “It’s difficult for us to add players that can help us or improve our squad. But it’s not that now we suffer some injuries, we are going to change our strategy. Our strategy is so clear.
“It’s one year and a half that he [Janssen] is not in our plans, and that is okay. He is not in the club’s plan. 18-months ago, we took the decision to try to find for him a different place to play. For different reasons, it didn’t work. That happens in football. Some relationships between player and club will not work.
“I saw him every day here in the changing room and the restaurant. That is not a personal problem. It’s the professional side. For different reasons, when that professional relationship is not working, we need to find a solution.”
Jose Mourinho will no doubt have been glad that Levy was able to offload Janssen before the Portuguese replaced Pochettino in November last year, but the Spurs Chairman will forever have the Dutchman’s failed career on his record thanks to Pochettino.