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Spurs striker Vincent Janssen: I’d prefer to play with Harry Kane but I’m ready to replace him

12:00 22 September 2016

Vincent Janssen heads at goal during last night's League Cup victory over Gillingham at White Hart Lane

Vincent Janssen heads at goal during last night's League Cup victory over Gillingham at White Hart Lane

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Vincent Janssen is disappointed he has lost the chance to play alongside Harry Kane, who he rates as “one of the best strikers in the world” - but the Dutchman feels ready to lead the line in his team-mate’s absence, having scored his first Tottenham goal last night.

Janssen and Kane spent time on the pitch together in four of Spurs’ opening five games of the season. However, when Janssen came off the bench against Sunderland on Sunday, it was to replace his striken colleague, who was stretchered off with ankle ligament damage.

The summer signing now has the responsibility of deputising for Kane, who won the Premier League’s golden boot last season – a challenge which has come earlier than anyone would have liked – but the £17million man already feels comfortable at White Hart Lane.

“I’ve been here now for a lot of weeks,” said Janssen. “I had the pre-season here and the manager gave me chances. It’s nice to get minutes and I’m happy I will get a chance to do that. I’m ready to play.

“I feel bad for Harry - if he’s fit I want to play with him. He’s a very good player. We played some games together and it went very well.

“He has a lot of qualities – he’s one of the best strikers in the world so it’s nice to play together with him. I can learn a lot from him but at the end I want to play a lot with him.”

Last night’s League Cup tie at home against League One outfit Gillingham gave Janssen a golden opportunity to open his account for the club and he duly did so, hitting the third goal in Spurs’ 5-0 victory as the Lilywhites booked a trip to Liverpool in the fourth round.

It took a penalty to get the Netherlands international off the mark, though, and he had to deprive Christian Eriksen of a hat-trick after the Dane scored the opening two goals.

“I had a conversation with Chris and he told me I could take it so I have to thank him for that,” said Janssen. “Erik [Lamela] asked me and I said I was going to take it. It was normal – you discuss it with the players and I thought it was my chance so I took it.

“The team spirit’s good. Everybody feels confident and good for each other. I was happy he (Eriksen) gave me the ball and I could score my first goal.

“It’s nice to get the first one but it’s not the most important thing because I have enough confidence and, if I hadn’t scored yesterday, for me it was sure I would score in the next game. It was nice but it was not such a big issue.

“Of course, I could have scored more goals, that’s for sure, but I’m happy I got one and I was able to help the team - to play the ball to them and create some chances also. That’s the way I want to play.

“It’s more physical football here and you know that when you come to England there are a lot of players who like to play this game. But I like it also so it’s not a problem and I just have to adapt, and it goes very well.”

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs

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