Although it looks increasingly likely that Arsenal are on the verge of signing Jamie Vardy – with Olivier Giroud’s revelations to Sky Sports being the latest indicator – Dutch sensation Vincent Janssen has refused to rule out a move this summer and the destination could well be England.
Following their 2-0 victory over Austria, the Netherlands striker told Fox Sports: “I want to make a step, that is clear. But there is no white smoke just now.”
He further speculated about his potential destination: “England? We will see. Maybe something will happen in the holidays. I will take my phone with me anyway.”
Janssen is a young talent that has had an incredible season with his 27 goals in 34 Eredivisie matches for AZ Alkmaar. Such an eye for goal has already prompted ESPN to draw comparisons between the 21-year-old and Ruud van Nistelrooy.
It was only last month The Telegraph reported that Arsenal have been regularly scouting the player and many thought Janssen constituted an incredibly archetypal Arsene Wenger signing with his career just recently getting off the ground at AZ Alkmaar.
It remains unclear as to whether the arrival of Vardy will prohibit the Gunners signing other attacking targets such as Álvaro Morata, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Gonzalo Higuain or Alexandre Lacazette amongst others, yet the case may still be made for Wenger bringing in this Dutch striker even after any probable signing of Vardy.
Winning the Eredivisie Golden Shoe race, Janssen has been touted as a classic Dutch number nine with an ability to score unlikely goals, being strong with both feet and thriving from aerial positions. He looks like an all-rounder with his excellent vision and movement. He can also link-up play well and it is evident how Arsenal’s midfield benefits from such play from Giroud.
Janssen has an incredible burst of pace over short distances, which has proved key to unlocking defences, whilst his 46% take-on success rate highlights his ability to dribble past competitors. Despite his success in front of goal, the youngster also managed to create 56 chances over the season with only four of those chances being converted.
He has a clinical accuracy in front of goal (55% shot accuracy) and this has helped him not only break into the Dutch national team, but net three times in his first five games for the Oranje.
A move to the Premier League may pose difficulties for players arriving from the Eredivisie though, with Memphis Depay being perhaps the most high-profile player to thrive in front of goal for PSV yet struggle in his time at Manchester United so far.
However, this is the exact reason that Janssen could be bought by Arsenal even if they seal Vardy’s signature. He should not be seen as the panacea to Arsenal’s forward woes. He would probably have a tough ride in England and would take a few years at Arsenal to become an established first-choice striker should he progress the way he has been in the Netherlands. It is preferable to acquire his services now though before his value increases and another club’s seize the opportunity to recruit him.
Being an understudy to Vardy, Giroud and Danny Welbeck, one would think that he could develop into a top class Premier League striker for Arsenal in time and, alongside Vardy, fill a void created by the possible departure of Theo Walcott.