Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has performed a surprising reversal and intends to use outcast striker Vincent Janssen.
The Dutch striker, who spent most of last season on loan at Fenerbahce, has not played for Spurs since August 2017.
Having not been listed in the club’s Premier League squad in the first half of the season, and being forced to train with the under-23s, he was expected to leave in the January transfer window.
However, despite links to several European clubs, Janssen stayed with Spurs and now Pochettino will include him in his first-team squad.
The Argentinian had been steadfast in his opinion that the 24-year-old was not involved in his plans, even after injuries to Harry Kane and Dele Alli last month.
But he will now be included in the club’s new Premier League squad, which has been submitted today.
“I think he’s going to be on the list, he’s going to be involved,” Pochettino said.
“That is my decision, my decision that he’s going to be involved with the first team from today and he’s going to be like another player, involved with the chances if he deserves it to be in the squad or to play.
“For different reasons – but the principle reason was a sporting decision – one year ago we decided to send him on loan and then in the last year he didn’t play because he was injured.
“But I think after [it was about] trying to find solutions because the player wanted to leave the club and the club wanted to provide for him another place to play football.
“But in the end when that was impossible I think the most important thing now is to treat him [properly] because he’s a person and my responsibility is to manage people, not chairs or sofas or furniture.
“My decision is from today he’s going to be involved with the first team, to try to do his best, to get fit and be competitive, and he’s going to be one more in the squad and the team.”
Pochettino admitted he was a bit baffled by Janssen’s inability to secure a move away from the club but hailed his professionalism.
“Before it was so clear because he wanted to leave and of course he wasn’t in our plans,” Pochettino added.
“But now when you cannot achieve what you want I think it’s so important that he feels again that he can be helpful for the club, for us the coaching staff and try to get fit.
“If he can help us, perfect. If not he starts to feel he is involved with the first team again.
“Always he behaved well. That is so important, that he was very respectful with everyone.
“For different reasons he can’t go away – reasons that are difficult to understand for me.
“But in the moment he cannot agree with the club, or the club cannot agree with him, to find a place for him to play and feel happy.
“Of course I’m a person and we are people that always care, and my decision straight away was to invite him in and to open the door to the first team and start to be involved and feel like another player here.”