Janssen and Zaza – Why it is too early to write off these misfiring Strikers

Credit: Charanjit Chana

Written by Alex Honcoop

Over the summer, both Tottenham and West Ham made moves for foreign Strikers. Vincent Janssen went to Tottenham from AZ Alkmaar while Simone Zaza went to West Ham from Juventus.

Both have been regarded as flops so far by the British media but I personally think it is far too early to give them that label. I’ll be the first person to admit their performances have been well below par this season but I do feel they have been better than most people give them credit for. Janssen moved to the capital for £17million after a brilliant season in Holland scoring twenty-seven times and assisting four goals. So far, he has only found the net from penalties and his general play hasn’t been all that impressive. Bought initially as a backup to Kane, he has featured regularly recently following Kane’s injury.

Something important to remember with Janssen is that he is only 22. I get the feeling that if he was English, he wouldn’t face nearly as much criticism. Although he is by no means a ‘world class’ Striker, I think he will turn out to be good value for Spurs given his age, and as he will only be needed as a backup to Harry Kane.

A similar pattern has ensued with Simone Zaza. After his €5million loan move from Juventus (which could become permeant for €23million), he hasn’t found the net once. Unlike Janssen, his general play has been good at times but he has been quite inconsistent. The Italian seems to be severely lacking in confidence at the moment and his decision making was poor at crucial times against Tottenham. Although I think Zaza is a decent player, he really doesn’t seem to suit West Ham’s system. His style is kind of in-between a classic No. 9 and a classic No. 10 and plays almost like a false nine or a Second-Striker.

His link up play between West Ham’s two technical playmakers in Payet and Lanzini has been good, but he doesn’t seem to have a ‘Strikers instinct’ to be in the right place, at the right time. Carlos Bacca and Michy Basthuayi were two name West Ham were linked with over the summer and I feel they would’ve been much better options for West Ham. Even Christian Benteke would’ve been a decent option. Although Zaza hasn’t been good so far this season, I think it is too early to completely write him off. West Ham face Man United at Old Trafford and all Hammers fans will be hoping Zaza can get a good run of form going soon.


Will Janssen and Zaza eventually come good? Is it simply a matter of time or are they just not suited to Tottenham, West Ham and the Premier League? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured Image by Charanjit Chana