Spurs have been making all the right noises in this summer’s transfer window. The trio of AVB, Baldini and Levy have worked wonders for the North London club. The Spurs squad looks menacing even without Bale, who is tipped to join you know who. One of the signings is Ajax’s Christian Eriksen, who is considered as one of Ajax’s best products, which itself is massive compliment given the players Ajax have produced over the years.
Eriksen started playing football at a very young age. He started his youth career at Middelfart G&BK before moving to Odense Boldklub (OB). At the age of 13, he was named as the ‘Best Technical Player’ at a Danish Youth Championship playing for OB. The following year, he went on to win that tournament with Eriksen scoring the only goal in the final. No sooner, he began attracting interests from Elite clubs like Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Milan but in the end he decided Ajax was the best possible option. He signed for Ajax in October 2008 on a two and half year contract and cited the importance of development and playing in Netherlands as the reason for joining them. After plying his trade for the Ajax reserves he was finally promoted to the first team in Jan 2010. And he hasn’t looked back since.
As highlighted by the award that he won stated above, Eriksen was technically sound from a very young age and it has only grown better. It won’t be wrong to say, he was technically the best player in Eredivisie in 12-13. Eriksen is equally good with both feet though he tends to prefer his right foot more often.
Eriksen can be described as the creative spark that every club needs to have and its also something which Spurs lacked last season. The 21 year old is capable of handling the creative burden of Spurs all on its own. To back that argument, no player from any European League created more goal scoring chances for his teammates than him (138). Along with that, he had the best mins per chance created rate in Europe (20.92 mins) and the most chances created per match (4.18 per match) too. He can read the game very well in fact the then Ajax Manager, Martin Jol praised him ( Eriksen was 18 at that time) for this particular skill and compared him with former Ajax’s products like Wesley Sneijder, Raphael Van der Vaart and Michael Laudrup.
Another big advantage of Eriksen is his versatility. He can fit into the number 10 role, he can drop deeper at central midfield, he can play on both the wings and he can also play as False 9 whenever required. The quality which has earned him the most of the praises is his wide array of passing skills. Eriksen can thread a pass that will split even the most meanest of defenses. He isn’t blessed with the strongest of frames but makes up for it by quick feet. He uses his thin frame and quick movements to his advantage by squeezing and sliding through a group of players without much efforts. His vision not only adds to his passing range but also helps in finding the smallest of spaces which others wouldn’t be able to find. There’s a elegant feel to his playing style which I’m sure the Spurs supporters and football connoisseurs in general will enjoy watching. Eriksen thrives in the final third and with his finishing abilities, it makes it very difficult for the opponents to contain him. His immaculate positioning helps him to score goals and Spurs can rely on him to get many strikes from the midfield. He finished with 10 goals and 17 assists in Eredivisie while scoring 1 goal and assisting 5 in Europe last season. Through balls, layoffs, long balls, crosses, Eriksen has it all and he is not even close to his peak years yet. Only one player has attempted more through balls and more crosses than Eriksen in Eredivisie this season, a testament of his vast qualities.
He is one of those players who can make all the difference between winning 1 point and 3 points. He has also trained himself to have the expertise at Set pieces. Eriksen scored some delightful costless kicks this year. During the game, Eriksen can be seen inclining centrally or dropping deep or moving to the vacant spaces on either flanks depending on his starting position. He can also influence the game from deep having being used as at central midfield more often by Ajax. His is extremely comfortable in possession and is rarely seen panicking in any situation. His confidence is quite visible from the way he performs on the pitch. He has received praises from one of football’s great, Johan Cruyff and the greatest manager, football has ever witnessed, Sir Alex Ferguson.
One drawback in him is his concentration. At times during the match he looks uninterested and totally lost. But it’s understandable for any young player and same can be said for him. He may also have problems against physical teams in Premier League given his light weight. In England, he is bound to play against clubs who play narrow or in other words, ‘Park the Bus’. It will be interesting to see how we manages such challenges. He was the youngest player at the 2010 World Cup and the youngest player to represent Denmark since Laudrup.
He made a total of 162 apps for Ajax and won Danish player of the year in 2011. And to think he is just 21.
Clubs like Manchester City, BVB, Zenit, Milan, Bayer Leverkusen, Liverpool were interested in him with only 1 year left in his contract. But it has the Club from North London who got the hands on him. Eriksen for €12m can be said is the bargain of this window. The prospect of Lamela, Eriksen and Chadli working behind Soldado is surely a mouth watering one. The stage is set for Eriksen to light up the Premier League.