Eriksen. For me, the bargain of the season. For as much as Tottenham have had a very up and down season, one constant that has remained is the talent that is Christian Eriksen. He has been without a doubt, the best summer buy that Andre Villas-Boas had brought in since Gareth Bale’s departure and although he didn’t get to see Eriksen’s development as Spurs boss, I’m sure he is in Russia proud of the purchase. The Dane is an attacking midfielder who is also very good on the flanks and is a product of the amazing Ajax youth system in Holland and looks with Tottenham, he looks bound for stardom and destined to become world-class, and we all know what has happened to really good Tottenham players over the last couple of years, they eventually find their way out of the White of London and into the White of Madrid.
Christian Eriksen’s career started at a few youth clubs in his homeland Denmark, and during his tenure he had trials at Barcelona, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Manchester United and AC Milan before opting to join the mighty Ajax, a club renown for its way of taking in young raw talents and harbouring and nurturing them into world-class players. Upon his arrival at Ajax, he spoke out on his decision to move to the Eredivisie though he has the chance to join the Premier League, La Lga or Serie A – “My first step should not be too big. I knew that playing in the Netherlands would be very good for my development. Then Ajax arrived and that was a fantastic option”. He was in the Ajax youth team from 2008-2010, when Martin Jol promoted the Danish International to the first team and was compared with former Ajax starboy Wesley Sneijder, calling Christian’s similarities with the Dutchman as a traditional number 10. the 2010-11 season was the season Eriksen broke into the team and cemented himself into the starting 11 and as a star player, and as the season progressed, it soon become clear that assists and chance creating was his forte, he ended the season with 10 goals and 20 assists and he was also named Ajax’s talent of the year as he led them to the league title, their first title in 7 years. He carried on his increasing his influence in Ajax and the Eredivisie, winning the Dutch Footballer of the Year in 2011 after helping Denmark qualify for the European Championship 2012 and having won another Eredivisie title in 2013, Eriksen decided against renewing his contract with the Dutch Champions as he had a year left on his contract, Ajax allowed him to hold talks with other clubs and he agreed terms with Tottenham Hotspur and left for a cut price of £11m. With his first season in England drawing to a close, I’d say he has been a success and has been Tottenham’s best player of the season with them looking to miss out on Champions League football, Spurs will have to try very hard to keep a hold of the Dane.
Eriksen’s style of play is very typical number 10, a rare breed some would say. A player who has great vision and who can see a pass like no other. He is a very unselfish player, much like fellow countryman Michael Laudrup but something which isn’t always the best trait to have as a player. He is also two footed which coupled with his amazingly cool composure, can be deadly and means he can trouble a defence without the need of having the go to his stronger side. Tim Sherwood and Andre Villas-Boas respectively have played Christian Eriksen in an array of positions such as left midfield, right midfield, centre midfield, centre forward and even left forward and this shows his versatility as a player and has put in good performances in each of those positions but you want Eriksen in the centre of the midfield, being able to pull the strings and make the team tick, orchestrating the play and changing the flow of the game. Arguably the strongest part of Eriksen’s play is his set-peices, being able to rocket in a shot or whip in a teasing cross for his teammates. Gareth Bale was Spurs’ set-peice master for the past seasons and Van Der Vaart before that but Eriksen may be better than the lot. He needs improvement on is his finishing, having only a 69% shot accuracy in the league but having 100% shot accuracy in the Europa League, although he only had 11 shots in the Europa League, 6 of which were blocked and the rest crossing the line. Another thing that Eriksen needs to work on is his defensive contribution. With both Tottenham fullbacks very attack minded and Spurs often playing a high line at the back, Eriksen going back would benefit Tottenham and help him being a more well-rounded player.
Christian Eriksen has been in my opinion, one the best players in the league and should he carry on the way he is playing, he could well and be the next big thing.