Mauricio Pochettino explained why Vincent Janssen made Tottenham’s matchday squad against Brighton & Hove Albion on Tuesday, saying the striker was needed due to an injury crisis in attack. Pochettino added that Janssen is still an important part of the side and will be given opportunities for the remainder of the season.
After Spurs failed to offload the 24-year-old in January, Pochettino said the Dutch international would be recalled to the first-team. He’s trained with the senior squad for some time, but it’s taken a number of months before he returned to the bench. It’s easy to forget he was stripped of a shirt number earlier in the campaign and wasn’t registered in the Champions League.
Nevertheless, he made his first appearance of the season for Spurs, coming off the bench in the 79th minute for Lucas Moura. Tottenham went on to score a later winner to solidify third place in the Premier League table and Pochettino says fans may be seeing more of Janssen in the coming weeks.
He explained to Football.London: “I think I told you and no one can be surprised. In January when we decided to involve (Janssen) again in the squad again, he was a player that had the same possibility as the others. Today with a lot of problems with a lot of offensive player like Harry Kane or Lamela I think we needed Vincent.
“In the last few months he was injured, he has recovered from injury. And now he is like from January, he is part of the team. We are going to decide if he is available, sometimes to use, sometimes to not like another player. I don’t know why it is going to surprise people, what I told you four or five months ago, that is the reality that happened today.
“I am not a liar, I am not a person that needs to lie to you or my fans. He is part of the team and I am going to decide whether to use or not. But today we needed him and he was on the bench like he was against Manchester City. But he cannot be on the list in the Champions League.”
Before Tuesday’s win over Brighton, Janssen’s last appearance for Tottenham was against Chelsea on August 20, 2017. He’s spent the last two years on the periphery and has been loaned out to Fenerbahce for his troubles. His future this summer is uncertain, but Pochettino sticking to his word and bringing him back is a good gesture.