Arriving at the club earlier this week, January signing Arnaut Danjuma showed promise in a perfect debut appearance as part of a Tottenham FA Cup win.
If he is the only player Tottenham Hotspur sign this January, it will be a disappointment; however, Danjuma’s debut for Spurs was as promising as it was perfect. In less than 20 minutes of football, Danjuma displayed traits that should make coaches, teammates, and fans happy in the coming weeks and months. Those traits and some new dynamics the Dutchman brings to the team were on display in Spurs’ 3-0 win Saturday evening.
Reason 1: Harry Kane got to sit this one out
Harry Kane is the undisputed talisman and leader for Tottenham Hotspur. That said, the club’s reliance on the striker has been as prominent this season as any in recent memory. The fact that Spurs scored three goals and Kane never even had to leave the bench was a real plus for Tottenham.
Having played most of the minutes in all competitions this season, including for England in the World Cup, a break is something Kane desperately needs. While his form has not been terrible, and Kane does not look spent, the season has a long way to go after a big break, and Kane needs his rest.
Had Danjuma not been signed this week, it likely would have been Kane coming in off the bench for the last 20 minutes. While 20 minutes of action will not put Kane out, he is coming off an illness, and not playing at all is the kind of rest he needs. Even if Danjuma did not impact the game, his presence, which kept Kane on the bench, was a win for Tottenham.
Reason 2: Scoring a goal was a great way to start
The presence of a new signing and seeing that new one on the pitch definitely lifted my spirits as a fan. The idea that Spurs would again go through a transfer window without a signing hurts my head. Fortunately, Danjuma has been added, and he even played, keeping Kane warm and cozy on a cold, dreary evening.
Even better than Danjuma being added to the team and Kane getting to take a break, Arnaut had a dream debut, scoring in the less than 20 minutes he spent on the pitch.
Danjuma hooked up with Dejan Kulusevski and finished past/through/off the Preston defender into the corner. With a somewhat scuffed shot, leading to a third goal for the team, Danjuma’s celebration was a bit muted, but we saw his trademark cobra.
Regardless of how well or cleanly the ball was struck, scoring a goal on one’s debut is promising.
Reason 3: Danjuma offers movement that Tottenham does not currently have
In some ways scoring his first goal off a less-than-perfect strike was appropriate for Danjuma, as it highlights one of his greatest strengths as a forward, his movement.
For those that have not seen a lot of Danjuma in La Liga, the Dutchman likes to run off the back shoulder of defenders and get behind defenses. Although we did not see that in this game, with Preston down two and looking to hold on, the movement we did see was excellent.
On nearly his first game action, a late interception prevented Kulusevski and Danjuma from hooking up on the edge of the box. On the play, Arnaut saw an opportunity to cut behind the defender near the goal and flashed, with Deki making the pass. Although unlucky on that play, it flashed the promise Danjuma brings to the team.
Then on the goal, as no one else was coming to the ball to help Deki out, Danjuma ran parallel to the goal and squarely at Kulusevski, making himself and the pass available.
With a goal, Kane resting, and some promising runs on tape to consider, it was a promising and near-perfect debut for Danjuma. May it long continue.