Christian Eriksen has been backed by his national boss to become one of the most important players in England.
Denmark boss Morten Olsen has suggested that Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen is at a more advanced stage than Wesley Sneijder or Rafael van der Vaart were at the same age.
Eriksen has settled into Premier League life well since he made the switch to White Hart Lane in an £11 million deal from Ajax last summer.
The Dane has featured in 16 Premier League games so far this season with three goals and four assists to his name, which marks a decent start to life in England for the 22-year-old.
“If I look at Sneijder and Van der Vaart, I don’t think they were at the same stage as Christian is now when they were 22. He won the domestic title with Ajax three times, he played in the 2010 World Cup, he played in Euro 2012, and he has 42 caps for the national team. At a young age, he has a lot of experience,” Olsen told the Standard.
Eriksen has also proven he’s a very versatile player under former boss Andre Villas-Boas and under current head coach Tim Sherwood.
He’s been used in different roles during his short career so far at Tottenham, starting life in a more natural slot behind the main striker before getting shift out to the left hand side under Sherwood.
The experience he’s already accumulated has helped him to adjust and he’s only going to get better over the next few years.
“Can he become one of the best players in England? He has the possibility. He has a tactical eye and he is a good technical player, but he also has a fantastic mentality. In Euro 2012, he didn’t perform as well as he wanted to but he was always running like crazy for the team,” added Olsen.
The trick for Eriksen is firstly to nail down a starting place for himself in the Tottenham starting eleven.
Sherwood seems to prefer using other players ahead of him in central roles at the moment, which means Eriksen has to work hard to turn himself into an indispensible central midfielder under the current boss.
He’ll also have to deal with reinventing himself once opposition sides work out how to play against him and contain him to prevent him from having a major impact at the moment.
It’s not so much of a problem at the moment because he’s being used infrequently but when he becomes one of the first names down on the team sheet for Spurs, he has to find different ways of being effective against different sets of tactics.
At the moment, he looks like a superb investment.
image: © Jon Candy