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Champions League dreams for Spurs star Janssen

By July 13, 2016No Comments

Vincent Janssen cited Mauricio Pochettino and Champions League football for his eagerness to move to Tottenham.

The 22-year-old Holland striker on Tuesday signed a four-year contract until 2020 after moving from AZ Alkmaar.

Janssen finished top scorer in the Eredivisie last season with 27 goals in 34 appearances and helped AZ secure a place in the division’s top four.

Tottenham will pay an initial £17million for Janssen but the fee could rise to £18.5m depending on the player’s performances.

“One of the reasons I chose Tottenham (is) the way (Pochettino) thinks and how he plays. I really like that,” Janssen told Spurs TV.

“It’s always a dream for me to play Champions League and now it’s coming very close.

“When I was a little child I watched every game in the Champions League and now I can play it for myself.

“It’s a beautiful club, a traditional club in England. They did very good last year and I’m happy to play for Spurs.

“I think I have a good chance to develop myself here. I can train with a young, talented group, with very good staff. I’m ready to develop myself.”

Tottenham, who finished runners-up to Leicester in the Premier League last season, had been in negotiations with AZ for the best part of six weeks.

Pochettino had targeted Janssen as cover for Harry Kane as Spurs look to balance a renewed title challenge with the Champions League next term.

Janssen was first given permission to speak to Spurs in the first week of June, when the forward visited the club’s training ground and agreed personal terms.

AZ initially indicated they would accept around £12m for the player but interest from Wolfsburg, Paris St Germain and West Ham persuaded the club to up their asking price.

Other interested parties were told, however, that Janssen had his heart set on White Hart Lane, and the clubs finally agreed a deal on Saturday before the Dutchman underwent a medical on Monday and finalised the move.

During initial talks with Pochettino, it was made clear to Janssen that while Kane will remain the team’s first-choice striker, he will be given ample opportunity to impress, particularly in cup competitions.

There is also the possibility Janssen could start the new campaign if Kane, who endured a disappointing Euro 2016, is eased back in more gradually following an exhausting 12 months.

Janssen has enjoyed a remarkable rise to stardom, joining AZ only last summer after he scored 19 times for Almere City in the Dutch second tier.

Renowned for his high levels of energy and excellent finishing, he then exploded into form this calendar year with 21 goals in 17 league appearances.

He also has five full caps for Holland and found the net against England in his country’s 2-1 win at Wembley in March.

Janssen becomes Tottenham’s second signing of the summer after the club bought midfielder Victor Wanyama from Southampton last month.

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