Who is Clinton Njie? A closer look at Tottenham's new signing
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 15/08/15 12:58pm
Tottenham’s strike force has been bolstered by the arrival of rising Cameroon star Clinton Njie, but what do we know about the young forward?
Spurs confirmed the arrival of the 22-year-old on a five-year deal, subject to international clearance and a work permit.
Now the move has gone through, here's a closer look at what Mauricio Pochettino's side will be getting for their money...
Spurs close in on N'Jie
Tottenham close to signing Lyon forward as Maurico Pochettino chases additions
Name: Clinton N'Jie
Height: 5ft 9ins
Club: Lyon – 43 games, 8 goals, 9 assists
Country: Cameroon – 11 games, 6 goals, 1 assist
What’s his background?
Njie enjoyed a breakthrough 2014/15 season as the exciting, pacy forward established himself at both club and international level.
After leaving Cameroon to join Lyon’s youth set-up in 2011, Njie only saw glimpses of first team football in his first three years in France under then manager Remi Garde with his debut coming as a late substitute against Reims in November 2012. A further nine appearances from the bench followed before the arrival of new coach Hubert Fournier last season coincided with Njie becoming a regular in the match-day squad.
A first start against Toulouse was followed in September 2014 by a maiden league goal at home to Lorient – a strike which, fittingly, came on the same day that Njie had signed a new contract at Lyon until 2019.
In all he made 30 league appearances and scored seven times as Lyon finished second to Paris Saint-Germain, although he was only in the starting XI for 15 of those games. Lyon had actually led the table going into the final months of the season and Njie’s most notable goal came in their home clash against PSG in February, when he opened the scoring in a 1-1 draw after playing a clever-one two in the box with Nabil Fekir.
Arguably even more impressive, however, was Njie’s immediate adaption to international football. Several weeks before he had scored his first goal for Lyon, the youngster had opened his account for Cameroon on his debut against the Democratic Republic of Congo in a qualifying match for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
Four days later and he then struck a brace in a 4-1 demolition of the Ivory Coast, the tournament’s eventual winners come February. Njie’s haul for Cameroon now stands at six goals in 11 games – a record which is already leading to comparisons with the country’s record goalscorer and most famous player, one Samuel Eto'o.
What will he bring?
Having passed through an academy which knows a thing or two about producing international class strikers - Karim Benzema, Frederic Kanoute and, most recently, Alexandre Lacazette to name just three - Njie certainly possesses the attributes required to succeed as a modern-day forward.
While Lacazette, Ligue 1’s top scorer in 2014/15, generally operates down the middle in Fournier’s exciting side, Njie can play either just off the front man on either flank, with a number of his goals coming from surges into the box to meet a cross.
Running with the ball is also a key attribute of the youngster’s game and, according to WhoScored.com, he attempted an average of 3.6 dribbles per game in Ligue 1 last season, although more were unsuccessful than not. He also averages nearly two shots per game.
Given Harry Kane scored 36 per cent of Spurs' Premier League goals in 2014/15, Njie's arrival will provide much-needed additional firepower for head coach Mauricio Pochettino.