Monday 11 December 2017

Spurs' £18.5m man Janssen 'going to the absolute top'

Ambitious: Vincent Janssen Photo: Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images
Ambitious: Vincent Janssen Photo: Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Matt Law

Tottenham have completed the signing of AZ Alkmaar striker Vincent Janssen in a deal thought to be worth £18.5m.

AZ Alkmaar signed Janssen from Almere City for just £340,000 12 months ago, meaning they will make a tidy profit of more than £18m on the player.

Billy Beane, the brainchild of Moneyball, has been working as an advisor to AZ since March last year - and he encouraged the club to hold out for more money on Janssen.

Tottenham had an initial bid of £15m rejected because it didn't meet Beane's valuation.

The American knows his numbers and he felt £18m was closer to the mark.

Janssen's surge in worth is down to his down to the sensational goal-scoring season he enjoyed last term.

He stuck away 27 goals in 34 league appearances, winning the Johan Cruyff Trophy (Dutch Young Footballer of the Year) in the process.

And that's a coveted prize - previous winners include Dennis Bergkamp, Clarence Seedorf and Robin van Persie.

Janssen has been capped through the Netherlands age groups and received his first senior call-up for his country earlier this year.

He disrupted England's Euro 2016 preparations with a goal and assist in a 2-1 win at Wembley, converting a penalty before out-muscling Phil Jagielka to set up Luciano Narsingh for a winner.

Spurs fans will be hoping he continues to be prolific in North London in the coming years.

Sporting success runs in the family. Janssen's mother is world champion swimmer Annemarie Verstappen, who competed in the 1984 Olympics, taking home a silver and two bronze medals.

"I do not know where my ceiling is but I know where I am going - to the absolute top," he said.

"If you score at Wembley for Holland, it means you are playing at the very top.

"That experience did a lot for me. At that moment I realised: now I am somewhere. You have achieved a certain level in your career.

"I wondered what it would be like to play against such opponents every week. I feel I am ready to conquer the world."

Meanwhile, Middlesbrough hope to tie up a deal for Valencia's former Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo after jetting out to Spain for a pre-season training camp.

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