Opinion: Why I am still not convinced about Steven Bergwijn

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Steven Bergwijn
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Three games into the Premier League season and Steven Bergwijn has found himself a fixture in Nuno Espirito Santo’s pacey front three for the wins against Manchester City, Wolves and Watford.

However, despite three solid team performances, I still think that the Dutchman needs to offer more to this team. 

Firstly, let’s start with the positives. One particular piece of skill, in which he knocked the ball past two Wolves players, before setting Harry Kane up, has been doing the rounds on social media. And quite rightly.

It was a superb bit of trickery, and more than anything, it showed what Bergwijn is capable of, when fully confident.

My issues lie elsewhere, though. It seems to be that Tottenham Hotspur Football Club have made a habit of employing wingers who give their all to the team, but inevitably make too many mistakes, and in some cases, lack the quality required at Premier League level.

One need only look at Lucas Moura and Erik Lamela as examples of this. Spurs’ late move for Wolves’ Adama Traore was further evidence of this. 

But back onto Bergwijn. The desire is there, and the skill he showed at that particular moment gave hope that his Spurs career could be a successful one. But aside from this moment, I’m yet to see enough to convince me that he deserves a place in the starting eleven. 

Two moments from the Manchester City victory come to mind. Firstly, the instance where he was through on goal, but missed the target, and thus denied Spurs the opportunity to go 2-0 up.

This was a key moment, and had Manchester City been on their A-game, Bergwijn might have left the field hanging his head, come full-time. Just like last season, it appears that Stevie still can’t hit a barn door with a banjo. 

The second moment may come across as harsh, but annoyed me nevertheless. His assist for Son’s winner came from an over-hit pass, and only a terrific finish from the South Korean gave us the deciding goal.

It was a simple pass to make on the break, and yet Bergwijn forced Son to do more work than was needed. It may seem silly to bring up, as it resulted in a goal, but this was another example of Bergwijn lacking the cutting edge which I feel he needs to be an effective Premier League forward. 

Added to these moments was Nuno Espirito Santo’s decision to drop Lucas Moura ahead of Bergwijn, in order to make way for the returning Harry Kane against Watford. And when he was replaced midway through the second half, I was left thinking ‘what’s he done?’.

To me, Bergwijn failed to warrant a start, and following his unspectacular performance, will be lucky to stay in the starting eleven moving forward.

We’ve seen flashes of his talent, including the game against Wolves, but until he consistently performs, the jury will still be out on what he offers to this team week in week out.

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