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Vincent Janssen: Why Arsenal, Man Utd, Liverpool must wait to sign AZ hotshot

COMMENT: Vincent Janssen appears the type of player Arsenal could really do with.

Manchester United are also keen but already have talented young strikers at their disposal while Liverpool, who have been credited with an interest, might join the Gunners in looking for something fresh this summer.

A capable goalscorer with a deadly left boot, 21-year-old Janssen has dominated the Dutch Eredivisie with AZ Alkmaar this season.

In his debut campaign in Holland's top flight, Janssen fired home 27 goals in 34 league appearances for a total of 32 in 49 outings in all competitions for the Cheeseheads.

In the next transfer window, Janssen is expected to be the subject of feverish interest from Premier League clubs, who were watching closely when he impressed on his full international debut in Holland's 2-1 win over England in a friendly at Wembley in March.

On that night in particular, Janssen coolly converted from the penalty spot to equalise, sending Fraser Forster the wrong way, before getting rid of Phil Jagielka to perfectly set up Luciano Narsingh for the winner.

Check out his display thanks to FATV at 3:00 and 4:05 -



That isolated performance would have sat well with a number of English top flight scouts, not to mention his season-long antics for AZ who finished fourth on the Eredivisie table, some 25 points from champions PSV Eindhoven.

For all this positive press, however, clubs outside of Holland should think before they put aside any sum of money to invest in Janssen.

You see, the 2015/16 Johan Cruyff Trophy winner - for the Eredivisie's best young talent - is on a similar career path to past Dutch star Ruud van Nistelrooy and current Oranje striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

Manchester United great van Nistelrooy developed with Den Bosch in the Eerste Divisie before moving to Heerenveen for one season and then onto Dutch powerhouse PSV.

It was there that Ruud really flourished and was subsequently signed by United for whom he was incredibly prolific before time spent with Real Madrid, Hamburg and Malaga.

Huntelaar, while with PSV, spent time on loan at De Graafschap and AGOVV Appeldorn, prior to a spell at Heerenveen - where he banged in goals for fun - and then onto Ajax, where the ball frequently continued to find it's way into the back of the net.

Real Madrid, AC Milan and Schalke were next on the hitman's list after beginning his career in the modesty of Holland's lower level clubs.

After coming through Feyenoord's academy, Janssen experienced his first foray into senior football with second tier outfit Almere City.

Over a couple of seasons there, it was time to take the natural next step up to the top flight, but for starters with a humble club in Alkmaar who boast just two Eredivise titles to their name.

This is now the time where any potential suitors must be patient and wait for the lethal Janssen to increasingly develop.

Consistency is the key with young strikers and after just one season in Holland's highest competition, Janssen's overall substance would be questioned if he were to make the move to a more competitive league.

Dutch source Hans Roozekrans admits that while the Heesch-born talent has made quite an impression at the AFAS Stadion, interested clubs such as Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool should wait and see how the player who has drawn comparisons with Robin van Persie and van Nistelrooy evolves.

“For now, each day, a new club is linked to Janssen," Roozekrans told Tribalfootball.com.

“With all the money in the Premier League, I think that could be his next destination. He's definitely on the radar of Premier League clubs.

“He is similar to van Nistelrooy and Huntelaar in that they were first in the Jupiler League (Eerste Divisie), and then had a good year with a sub-top Eredivisie team before becoming a star at Ajax or PSV and then transferring to a top competition.

“It was his first year in Eredivisie so I'm not sure if he's consistent enough. The best for him would be to get a transfer to Ajax or PSV, but AZ will ask for a jackpot for that to happen."

Then there lies the uncertain striker movement around the Eredivisie this summer.

Champions PSV have Luuk de Jong (25 years old and 26 league goals in 2015/16), Gaston Pereiro (20yo and 11 goals), Narsingh (25yo and 8 goals) and emerging talent Jurgen Locadia.

So they don't really need Janssen even though they are preparing for Champions League football and historically, are a buying club.

Ajax, who finished second this season after a final day disaster, house Polish ace Arkadiusz Milik who at 22, produced a 21-goal league campaign.

The only way Janssen would make his way to the Amsterdam Arena is if Ajax were to sell Milik to one of Europe's bigger clubs. Both Arsenal and Liverpool have previously been linked while La Liga champions Barcelona have also been mentioned.

If Milik were to leave Ajax, they could then use that money to lure Janssen, but if the Pole stays put, they could even go after Huntelaar who is on his way out at Schalke and would provide a cool head, rather than operating with two inexperienced attackers.

While the interest in Janssen is absolutely warranted, the Gunners, United and the Reds have to be prudent before they commit to bringing in a player who may need addiitonal time in order to really fulfil his enormous potential.

It may be seen as an astute transaction, solely from a financial viewpoint, to sign Janssen now but the fear of him growing stale on the substitutes' bench rather than consistently firing home goals at will in his native homeland is real.

Remaining where he is means Janssen can continue to star in a league far more suitable for a player of his age and ilk at what is a vital stage of a potentially lengthy and glittering career, given the right guidance and advice.

Thanks to ScoutNation HD for the below highlights package on the man in question:

Andrew Slevison
About the author

Andrew Slevison

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