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'All I thought was that I would come back stronger'

Posted on 14 July 2016  - 13:05

He was knocked down, but he certainly got up again. Vincent Janssen’s story is one of determination and sheer will to succeed.

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Vincent had to overcome a huge jolt in his early career when he was released by top Dutch club Feyenoord at the age of 19.

For many young footballers, that might signal the end of their career at the very top level, but for Vincent, it was just the start.

Below: Vincent's first interview at Spurs...

 


He joined Almere City in the second tier of Dutch football, the Eerste Divisie, scored 32 goals in two seasons and quickly returned to the top flight, the Eredivisie, with a move to AZ Alkmaar in 2015.

“I had to go away from Feyenoord and I was thinking to myself ‘I’ve got to work harder’ because I wanted to go back to the Dutch Premier League, the Eredivisie,” he told us after completing his move to Spurs - subject to international clearance - this week.

“It was nice to play there and I was fighting for it. After two years in the first league of Holland I made a promotion to go to AZ and everything was going very fast.”

Below: On target for Holland against Austria

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His one season at AZ was nothing short of spectacular.

Vincent topped the Eredivisie goalscoring charts with 27 goals (including 20 in the second half of the season), scored against England at Wembley in his first start (and only second cap) for Holland and won the Johann Cruyff Trophy, Holland’s young player of the year – a trophy formerly won by his new team-mate Christian Eriksen.

He now has three goals in five Dutch caps - and is preparing for life at Spurs.

So what clicked? “Good question! The whole team clicked. I know I can score goals as a striker but the second half of the season was incredible. We did such a nice job. At the end, we finished fourth so for the club that was very good.

“When I got sent away (from Feyenoord) the only thing I thought was that I would come back stronger. I was very happy that it happened because I did a lot for it.”