Danish journalist and football expert Lars Hendel has suggested that Christian Eriksen and Nicklas Bendtner are the two Danish players to watch in the Premier League this season.
Eriksen has taken to life in English football easily while Bendtner has fought hard to regain match fitness with Arsenal, recently starting in the League Cup game at West Brom when he may have thought his Arsenal career was over.
The context surrounding the role of each player is entirely different but as far as Hendel is concerned, there are no other Danish players fans should be watching more than this pair.
“Christian Eriksen is without any comparison the greatest talent of these young Danes, but even he could face tough times in a strong Spurs squad where he was not at all the biggest buy of the summer,” Hendel told 92webzine.com.
Eriksen has probably had more of an effect in the Premier League than he may have been expecting following his £11.5 million move from Dutch side Ajax over the summer.
He’s arguably Tottenham’s best midfielder at the moment and the challenge for him is going to be how he reinvents himself over the course of the season, as teams get used to his influence and find ways, as Chelsea did last weekend, to gradually keep him quiet.
“I believe it’s a great move for Christian who is such an exciting talent. He was probably not ready to go to an absolute top club challenging for Champions League glory - it will make him a better player in future,” added the Dane.
If Eriksen can continue making subtle and slight changes to his game, while remaining effective in terms of assists and goals, he’ll be a major part of any success Spurs have by next summer.
Bendtner’s current situation at Arsenal is intriguing because as things stand, he’s the back up striker to Olivier Giroud as Arsene Wenger wasn’t able to bring in another forward over the summer.
He attended a fitness camp to get himself into shape after failing to get a move away from the Emirates and for all the criticism of his game, he looks switched on and determined to try and have an impact when he is given a chance by Arsene Wenger.
“Don’t forget Nicklas Bendtner, by the way – still only 25 and with a potential like no other Danish forward for many years. If he gets back on track he could be a great “new” player in the Premier League,” said Hendel.
It’s a very valid point because if Bendtner can continue to work hard, focus on his game and make the most of his chances, it will be like Arsenal having a new signing.
Many Gunners will remain unconvinced by his ability to lead the current Arsenal attack but he’s human and as Hendel points out, still a young man.
He would not have enjoyed his awful loan spell at Juventus last season, which means he should be grateful for the chance and his aim is to try and produce a strike rate if he gets the nod for tough Premier League fixtures.
What have you made of each player’s start to the season?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald