The meteoric rise of Arsenal target Vincent Janssen

There have been numerous Arsenal transfer rumours regarding the young AZ Alkmaar striker Vincent Janssen, but the fact is that not many of our readers had even heard of him until recently. So let me fill you in with some details about his rapid rise to fame in Holland which has earned him a place in the senior Netherlands team.

In fact his talent was noticed at an early age when he was snapped up by Feyenoord for their youth team and was capped four times for the U15 Holland side, scoring twice. After that he didn’t really fit in at the Dutch giants, and he was finally let go at 19 years of age and moved to lowly Almere City in the Second Division. As Janssen himself explained: “I saw that coming,” he said. “I didn’t have my best years at the Feyenoord youth academy.

“You should have a big mouth, and I had a problem with that in the beginning. It was a transition — a different culture, a different environment. I needed two years to adapt.”

The man that persuaded him to move to Almere City was the ex-Ajax goalkeeper Fred Grim, and he was happy to see him available for free. “Almere are a club that has to constantly look for players who were let go by the bigger teams,” Grim told ESPN. “I don’t know why Feyenoord didn’t want Vincent, but I knew that he was a very good striker. After talking to him, it was easy to understand that he is a great professional too.”

In 2013-14, the youngster scored 10 goals for Almere, and the following season nearly doubled his tally to 19 which brought him to the attention of AZ Alkmaar who took him up to the top tier.
Since then he has been incredible, scoring 27 goals this campaign including an early hat-trick against his old club Feyenoord which must have been very satisfying.

“Janssen has all the right skills for centre-forward,” Grim continued. “He keeps the ball well with his back to the goal. He knows how to position himself. He is quick and makes the right movements. He works hard without the ball and puts a lot of pressure on the defenders.

“Importantly, he is two footed, which makes his moves in the penalty area difficult to predict — he can go right, and he can go left. A lot of strikers can only shoot with one foot, and they are much easier to mark.

“Vincent has the right mentality. He is always willing to learn, very open and dedicated. He is an easy player to coach, because he always listens.”

“Janssen grew up in a sport-oriented family, and therefore he knows what one has to do in order to reach the top,” Grim explained. “From the very beginning, I was sure that he will go far.

“Numerous scouts visited our games to watch Vincent, not only from Holland, but also from Germany and Belgium. Eventually, he chose Alkmaar because it was the best option for him to develop.

“I know their coach, John van den Brom, personally, and he understood what kind of a player he was getting.”

When Janssen joined Alkmaar, his mentor Grim also left Almere to work with the Netherlands’ under-21 team. With Grim’s guidance, Janssen scored six goals in five games in European Under-21 Championship qualifiers in the autumn, and was quickly called up to the senior side. His debut was awesome and he scored and assisted in Holland’s 2-1 win over England in March.

With 27 goals in 34 games for Alkmaar it is no surprise that he is now being coveted by teams like Arsenal, and if he retains his supreme confidence and carry’s on improving, he could definitely be a superstar of the future.

If I was Wenger I would be trying hard to get this 21 year-old to the Emirates as quickly as possible….


Tags Almere City AZ Alkmaar Vincent Janssen


  1. 27 goals in 34 games. that is very impressive. I think we should sign him. Jesse from Madrid is another interesting prospect.

    1. Indeed jese is an interesting prospect, but with his close connection to Zidane and the aging of Ronaldo, I can see jese playing more and more for the Spanish giants

  2. Janssen is only 21 and knows where the net is. I would say, sell Giroud and bring in Janssen and then go ahead and bring another striker. someone like Jesse from Madrid would be good competition. Duvan Zapata is 25 and i hear we have a bid on him, with Janssen in the side these tow could form a great partnership. Lucas Perez from Depotivo is another high performance low opportunity player we can bring along with Janssen. Lucas Perez and Janssen together would be shy of 30Million. We could even fully finance their arrival by off laoding Giroud who is now 30. If we work out a two strikers arrangement with these two, we should be pushing 60 goals from just these two…

    1. Replace our top scorer and only striker with players from other leagues! This is a recope for disaster.

      Giroud may not be the best but he is relatively injury free and his stats, minutes played in PL per non penalty goal are good, actually better than Vardy and Kane.

      Yes we need at least one more striker but the only players I woul replace giroud with is Aguerro or Suarez, proven top scorers in PL. Then I would be concerned about Aguerro and injuries.

      1. Judging by the thumbs down, approximately 50% of responses think that selling giroud and replacing him with a 21 year old from the dutch league is a good idea,

        1. I bet the reason why you got so many thumbs down was your defense of the lumbering oaf upfront.

          He goes through stages where he can score but that is all it has been for 3 years!

          He doesn’t close down the opposition often enough, he complains at other players who have played the right ball but he was being lazy, he does not deserve to wear the red and white!

          I’ve seen more effort from a sloth.

          I do not want to watch his type of game at Arsenal, I feel it is an insult to all us fans and the sooner we get rid of him the better.

          1. Midkemma, i can see your point of view, basically giroud needs to go irrespective of whether there is an adequate replacement, the other team members will have to take on the roll.

            My concern is that a 21 year old from the dutch league may not be effective, particularly in their first season. I would keep giroud untill a replacement is established.

            It is a real disappointment that welbeck is injured again, he was looking good, scored some vital goals as well.

      2. I’m with you Jonm
        Signing top striker from Dutch League had been more miss than hit
        27 goals is really impressive number but if you look at the 2nd top scorer in the list is Luuk DeJong, it put thing into perspective. Anyone here remember him or ever heard of him?
        He had been in the book of Newscastle for half a season, making 12 appearances and score ZERO goal. He spent 1.5 season under Mönchengladbach (where we got Xhaka from) and score 8 goals in 45 appearances. Once he is back to Dutch League with PSV his number becomes 26 goals last season and 32 goals this season. Memphis Depay is top striker of Dutch League last season 22 goals/30 apps, playing as midfielder.
        I’m not against us signing him as a young prospect, but saying him can replace and even do better than Giroud is pre-mature

        1. There have been some wonders though that have come out of the dutch leagues.

          Suarez was at Ajax…
          Overmars was from Ajax
          Bergkamp left Ajax to go to inter before we got him.
          RvP came from Feyenoord and his only issue was fitness.
          Van Nistelrooy came from PSV.

          Van Nistelrooy was a starter for UTD in his 1st season and well… Do I have to give a history lesson on one of the most prolific CF the EPL has seen? 150 goals in 219 games is something to brag about.

          Not every CF will be another Suarez or Van Nistlerooy BUT they are not all going to be flops either, sometimes they are worth getting and using asap.

  3. He is a risk, but a risk worth taking. Hope we don’t wait too long to sign him.

    The draw back with him would be that Wenger is unlikely to start him ahead of Giroud so he would get little opportunity to show what he can do. Strikers probably more than any other position need game rhythm to be at their best. If they don’t get a lengthy run of games it is that much harder for them to thrive.

    1. On the other hand, if giroud was sold as some on here want, then jannsen would be our main striker, the pressure may be too much for him.

  4. Get Him (Janssen) …….. But he mustn’t be the only one……… Get another as well!……… Someone proven

  5. What he did in the Dutch League does not equate to what he can/will do in the BPL…Watched him a few times, and to me he moves just like Olivier(static). With the exception he’s 2 footed…
    Would be good to get a hungry South American or Latin forward…

    1. I believe he moves more like H Kane than he does Giroud. Also, he’s obviously quicker than Giroud, I don’t think people care about how Giroud carries himself, it’s more to do with the rate of speed with which he does it in.

      1. @Trevor
        If you pay attention to Olivier’s movement, you would see that is what hinders his pace.

    2. From Eredivisie EPL got the like of Suarez and Ruud Van Nistelrooy…and we all know what they did to the EPL…

      1. @nikkogunners
        In my own humble opinion, i dont think player abilities have anything to do with the league they came from, every league has bad and good players, and sometimes the numbers are not enough,take Giroud and Depay for example, if you want to know how good a player is, try to actually watch the player and not just youtube videos

        1. YouTube isn’t perfect but it does give an indication.

          The problem with someone like Janssen is that he hasn’t been around long enough to build up the YouTube portfolio that other footballers have on that site.

          Fans will post up vids, fans who do watch the game…

          More vids from different fans showing different pieces of skill/talent/what-ever and it indicates that many people have been impressed enough to make that vid.

          I personally avoid the “Welcome to XXXX” vids as they are obviously going to show the best of the player joining a new club.

          Biggest issue with YouTube watching is that it gives no indication (from what I can tell) about how consistent that player will be, this is where I would recommend fans to spend an hour or so and read the last 12 months game reports the player has been involved with and the player rating given if it can be found.

          I gave you thumbs up as I agree that every league has good and bad players, not only that but I would add that some players suit some leagues while flopping in other leagues…

          I just wanted to add in about YouTube, it isn’t great but it is a tool and it could be used for good or bad, us fans just need to find other evidence alongside the YouTube if it is about players we have not heard about before. Of course watching the games live yourself is the best way in my opinion ^.^ but we can’t watch every game ever shown.

  6. Good article, knew nothing about him except his clips and who he plays for. Sounds like that first big knock back done him the world of good, might speak well on his character. At Arsenal I think he has a better chance at making the step up than most. Also, most of the Dutch players we’ve signed looked to have fit right into our system, it’s ingrained in them from young age (Dutch way), so I think that could give the lad a slight head start over other youngsters. I cant think of too many Dutch players we’ve signed which turned out to be [non starters ..fos]. I know there must have been kids in the academy which didn’t make it, but this type of signing is a little different from signing a 15 year old who fails for whatever reason. And at the worst we’d have a third choice striker some would rather see start over Giroud, or how about the depth to a position we’ve been one of the weakest in if not the weakest (regarding top clubs). There are positives even if he fails to be Arsenals main man.

    What I believe though, is that we are either going to sign Morata, or we are going to sign someone the papers haven’t mentioned yet. One of these, I was hoping for the latter, but then someone brought to my attention the amount of players we tried to sign directly before their breakout season. It happened allot, I don’t know if that’s because we get rumoured to want everyone, or if we are indeed being watched very closely and then hijacked or simply out bid because we don’t offer enough. Even so, it’s weird, it would seem Arsene might not have lost that early magic, as it’s been pilferage or squandered in some way or another.

  7. Jansen sounds like a
    safe investment
    and reasonably cheap
    at about 10 -12 mill.
    Get him early then we can take our time to
    chose another goal scorer perhaps a winger
    especially if Walcott or Chamberlain leave.

    1. I know it wont happen but I would be super happy if we got Janssen or Milik as back up CF and then went all out for Lukaku.

      Lukaku may start as 1st choice as he has proven he can score in the EPL but he would have to work hard to keep that spot from a hungry player, it could provide great competition for a number of years to come and by then hopefully we could have produced a youth CF who can step up…

      Akpom could be 3rd choice CF, that would be 3 young CF to take us forward.
      1 proven, 1 youth development and 1 potential.

  8. Arsenal FC should take advantage of Chelsea and Man United not playing Champions League football next season to attract top Strikers. I’m looking at a possibility of Real Madrid signing Lewandoski. That could make Benzema available. We can play a 442 formation next season. Benzema, Sanchez, Giroud, Walcott. Giroud’s 16 league goals not impressive for a club like Arsenal. Wenger should just go all out for Lewandoski. If impossible, then Benzema, Luuk De Jong, Jansen, Jesse, Lacazzete. We have the midfield covered. Defence is OK. A top Striker is what we lack.

    1. I wish people would stop asking for Benzema, I don’t want the filthy piece of scum anywhere near our club. The blokes a sexual deviant, with absolutely no moral compass.

      1. You may be correct about Benzema. I’m looking purely on footballing reasons. These are my reasons. Getting 30 goal a season striker is not that easy. Here are the top strikers across Europe for the 2015/2016 season.
        Suarez: 40 goals
        Higuain: 38 goals
        Ibrahimovic: 38 goals for a 34 year old.
        Ronaldo: 35 goals.
        Lewandoski: 30 goals

        Jansen: 27 goals
        Luuk De young: 26 goals
        Messi: 26 goals
        Benzema: 25 goals.
        Neymar: 25 goals.
        Kane: 25 goals
        Aubumeyang: 25 goals.

        I would have loved Lewandoski but I doubt we can get him and he would command a high fee.

        But if he decides to go to Real Madrid, it could make Benzema leave the Santiago.

        Benzema has been consistent over the years. He drifts wide, has pace, trickery and a big man mentality. It will lift the mood in the Emirates. His bicycle kick against Barcelona was superb. in the EPL, you have defenders that would close spaces and mark Strikers out. A striker needs intelligence, good movement in the 18 yard box. Giroud is too static. Jansen , Luuk De yong have good stats but could struggle in the EPL. Benzema could be available for 40m pounds if Real get Lewandoski. Zlatan would want all the money in the world to come play for Arsenal.

        from the above list,

  9. This Janssen guy might be a new Suarez or not. Either we sign him or not, we will soon find out as he is sure to move to a bigger club in a bigger league.
    Now, if I was a manager of a team as big as arsenal and the fans and everybody believed we needed a striker, I would spend £12m on Jansen, and whether he turns world class or not, he would be wearing arsenal’s shirt as the world finds out.
    But then Mr Wenger has a very special Philosophy, far superior to Pep, Jose and Simone philosophies!

  10. Jansenn was in the starting line up for Holland’s friendly against Ireland last night, I didn’t see the game but I know that he didn’t score and was subbed off in the 75th minute.

    I suppose his worth a gamble, if he costs less than 20 million, he’s still very young.
    Bony is an example that theres no guarantee of success in the premier league and he scored twice as many as Jansenn has, when he was plying his trade in Holland.

    Milik is another one to keep an eye on, at least he will be on show for Poland, in the up and coming Euro’s.

    We are all expecting Wenger to sign the quality that we need to help our beloved Arsenal mount a serious challenge on all four fronts, next season, but now the back door has opened to the worries of losing key player’s, like Bellerin and Ozil.

    It looks as if Wenger’s transfer dealings will probably determine Ozil’s future at the club… what with Munich and Barcelona sniffing around him.

    1. How about Milik and Janssen? Perhaps they’ll go for less than 40 million combined, what are the chances they’ll both fail?

      1. Why not?… I would rather take the risk with signing both of them instead of signing Morata! … two for the price of one!

      2. @Incarnate
        We better hurry then, because looks like Leicester City are after Milik also…

    2. and Let’s not forget what happens if they do well in the Euros

      God help us with their asking price


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