Do Tottenham already have the next Van der Vaart in Christian Eriksen?

Christian Eriksen FK

Is Christian Eriksen already proving himself as Rafael van der Vaart's worthy successor?

Rafael van der Vaart has been fondly reminiscing about his time at Tottenham, telling The Mirror leaving the club was the biggest mistake of his career.

The Dutchman even went onto say he would have loved a return to the club this summer, but without an offer he headed to Real Betis as a free agent instead.

The 32-year-old struggled at Bundesliga side Hamburg last season, but at his best for Spurs he was a dynamo, making a telling impact on big games and inspiring those around him.

There is a good reason however that Tottenham made no contact regarding bringing him back - that is because they have a player in Christian Eriksen who is his natural successor.

The Dane signed two years ago, and has impressed in Van der Vaart's old role. We took at look at each of their most recent seasons in a Tottenham shirt to see how their Premier League performances compared...

  TeamSeasonGoalsScoring V Shooting AccuracyAssistsKey PassesWon DribblesPassing AccuracyAppearances
Rafael van der Vaart Tottenham 2011-2012 11 11% 7 76 6 88% 33
Christian Eriksen Tottenham 2014-2015 10 10% 2 84 46 82% 38

Both players came through the Ajax youth system, and share that in common as well as their Tottenham links.

They can both boast to have netted into double figures in a single season in the Premier League, each scoring with approximately one in every 10 efforts on goal.

Van der Vaart's 2011/12 season proved superior in terms of assists to Eriksen, but the Dane did create eight more chances. He may point to poor finishing of his teammates, as Harry Kane aside, the club's strikers failed to make an impact.

Where Eriksen does stand out is his confidence to run past players with the ball, doing so 40 more times than his predecessor.

Still only 23-years-old, there is plenty more to come from the Dane, while Van der Vaart at nine years older is past his prime. Letting him go was a bitter pill for fans to swallow, but with Eriksen in his place there is plenty of reason to be positive.

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