Tottenham’s goal of qualifying for the Champions League ran ashore in 2013-14 again, with the club desperate to return to Europe’s elite after a successful campaign on the continent three years ago.
Part of Harry Redknapp’s side that reached the quarter-finals of the tournament that year was Rafael van der Vaart, who played an important role in the side’s progression.
Although others such as Gareth Bale may have grabbed the headlines more often than not, the Dutch maestro was an essential creative force in the Spurs attack.
Van der Vaart operated in the number ten role behind a lone striker and had a fantastic ability to link the side’s midfield and attack.
He was a key member of the attacking contingent that was renowned for their counter-attacking ability during his time at the club and created and scored his fair share of goals.
Some of Spurs’ notable problems last term were their slow attacking style and inability for their midfield and strikers to cooperate efficiently.
Enter Christian Eriksen.
The Dane has all the same attributes as Van der Vaart and is the first player to have joined the club since the Dutchman’s departure that can be the attacking fulcrum of the side.
Whoever Spurs’ new boss is will have to decide the best way of maximising Eriksen’s impact on the side, with the ex-Ajax man playing in a number of contrasting roles during his debut campaign.
However, with the example of Van der Vaart in mind, Eriksen in the number ten role, playing centrally and not having many designated defensive duties looks like the ideal scenario to solve the current problems.