Mauricio Pochettino has hailed Vincent Janssen's fantastic performance during the EFL Cup 2-1 defeat to Liverpool on Tuesday night after the Dutchman scored his second goal for Tottenham Hotspur. The Argentinian boss asked fans to be patient with the young striker, pointing out that the 22-year-old striker is still adapting to the Premier League pace.
Janssen arrived to White Hart Lane during the summer transfer window to serve as a back-up for Harry Kane following an impressive campaign with AZ Alkmaar. The Dutchman ended the 2015-2016 as the Eredivisie's top scorer after netting 27 goals in 34 league appearances, earning also the 2016 Johan Cruyff Trophy which awarded the best young player of the year.
However, the Tottenham striker has struggled so far to justify his £17m move to White Hart Lane during the opening part of the season. He has failed to cope with the absences of Kane up-front, failing to register a single goal in nine Premier League appearances or in the Champions League.
But Pochettino is still convinced that sooner rather than latter Tottenham fans will see the best of the Janssen as the striker is making every effort to succeed. He was more than pleased with his performance at Liverpool after he netted a penalty to gave Tottenham some hope of securing a comeback at Anfield.
"Today I think he was fantastic. He played very well, he made a big effort and he scored," Pochettino said after the Dutchman already netted in the previous round against Gillingham. "We are very happy with him. We need to understand that he's 22, he's come in from the Netherlands, a different league, and always we need to give time. But one thing is clear, that he is a player who works a lot, who is always involved and the commitment he shows in every game and every training session is fantastic."
Meanwhile, Pochettino left Liverpool with mixed feelings, happy with the performance of his fringe and young players, but disappointed as the elimination from the EFL Cup may restrict their opportunities though the campaign.
"I'm very pleased with the performance. I'm disappointed with the result of course, but the effort from the team was fantastic," he said. "We played against Liverpool, they're a very good team and we fought and we competed until the end of the game and that is very important for us."
"Always the important thing is that we believe that we can come back. We created chances, it was a great experience and we can take positive things. We are in a different process to Liverpool, a different project and we need to feel pleased for all the players – players that don't play too much and are not regular choices in the Premier League or in the Champions League. The experience today was very important."