Stats: Is Eriksen as effective as Van der Vaart for Tottenham?

Tottenham WHL

Christian Eriksen and Rafael van der Vaart have both been the creative fulcrum of Tottenham Hotspur in recent times, but who is better?

At Tottenham Hotspur there is an expectation that the side will deliver fast, flowing attacking football that will entertain the supporters.

Spurs may not have had as much success as they would have been hoping for in recent times, but their principles remain and entertaining football is a requirement at White Hart Lane. 

Two players who have been key to Spurs being able to play with that style in recent times have been Rafael van der Vaart and Christian Eriksen.

During his time at the North London side, Van der Vaart was the man who linked Spurs' attacks together. The Dutchman added class and poise to an impressive looking attacking unit, which contained the prodigiously talented Gareth Bale.

Spurs may not pose so much threat now as they back then, but Eriksen performs a similar role.

The side is built to function around Eriksen's creativity when he is on the pitch, but he isn't proving to be as influential as one of his predecessors.

The Danish attacking midfielder is still only 22 years old so has plenty of time to develop, but he is not being as effective an architect as Van Der Vaart was for the side.

  PositionTeamGoalsAssistsKey passes per gameShots per gamePasses per gamePassing AccuracyDribbles per gameDispossessed per gameAppearancesMins Played
Rafael van der Vaart MF Tottenham 11 7 2.3 3.1 49.1 87.9% 0.2 1.1 33 2321
Christian Eriksen MF Tottenham 10 8 2.4 2.2 45.8 82.1% 1.1 1.6 35 2767

During the experienced midfielder's last season in a Spurs shirt, back in 2011/12, he was performing better than Eriksen has over his Tottenham career so far in a number of areas.

Not only was Van der Vaart more of a goal threat, but he was also more accurate with his passing and protected the ball in advanced situations better.

Eriksen does dominate the dribbling statistics, but he still has some way to progress before he is ready to match the standards set for him by Van Der Vaart.

It also highlights the lack of quality which Spurs are currently suffering with.

Eriksen is arguably the most talented outfield player in the current Spurs squad, but Van der Vaart - who played for the club at the same time as the aforementioned Bale and Luka Modric - was more effective during his time there, and these are the sort of performance levels that the former Ajax man will need to reach if he is to help Tottenham into the top four.  

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