Christian Eriksen: Player Profile

Tottenham’s Bargain Buy

Spurs have finally addressed a deficiency in the squad, the absence of a quality playmaker that has existed since Modrić’s decampment. 

Eriksen’s vision, coupled with Roberto Soldado’s prolificacy, can be the catalyst that propels Spurs above their many opponents in the Premier League.

Personal information 

Full name: Christian Dannemann Eriksen
Date of birth: 14 February 1992
Age: 21
Place of birth: Middelfart, Denmark
Height: 1.77 m (5 ft 9 1⁄2 in)
Playing position: Midfielder

Club information 

Current club: Tottenham Hotspur
Number: 23

Youth career
1995–2005: Middelfart G&BK
2005–2008: OB
2008–2010: Ajax

Senior career
2010–2013: Ajax 162 Appearances, 32 goals
2013– Tottenham Hotspur 3 Appearances, 1 goal
National team
2007–2009: Denmark U17 27 Appearances, 9 goals
2009-2010: Denmark U18 5 Appearances, 1 goal
2009–2010: Denmark U19 3 Appearances, 1 goal
2010-2011: Denmark U-21 3 Appearances, 1 goal
2010– Denmark 39 Appearances, 4 goals

Spurs’ failure to finalize a deal for Joao Moutinho on last season’s transfer deadline day proved to be a pivotal oversight. Luka Modric’s departure had dictated the urgent necessity of a replacement No. 10—an acquisition that never materialized. Gylfi Sigurdsson, despite being a player of undoubted talents, was never the solution. As the 2012/13 campaign progressed, the lack of a midfield magician in the starting lineup became increasingly apparent. Gareth Bale’s last-minute pile-drivers, although spectacular, were in part enforced by an inability to carve out many clear-cut chances.

Tottenham’s start to the 13/14 season hasn't resolved this predicament. The North London derby was crying out for a creative spark, you could almost hear an echo of discontent from the fans within the ground, bemoaning AVB’s decision to leave Holtby on the bench.

Mercifully this problem area was identified in their pre-transfer window discussions and dutifully sought to bring in appropriate personnel. Namely, Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen.

Eriksen’s proficiency at threading defence splitting lofted through balls will ensure that opposition centre-backs are consistently on guard. Many possess the technical skill to execute such passes, few are blessed with the innate presence of mind to anticipate them. However, his range of passing is not the only string to his bow. Arguably, on his current form, Eriksen is one of the finest free-kick takers in Europe. Six free-kick goals in the last couple of months for club and country is an astonishing return. Judging by this compilation, Spurs won't miss Bale's set pieces. Ultimately, Eriksen is a prospect. An investment with the potential to evolve under the right tutelage.

Tottenham's swoop for the Danish midfielder on deadline day was a master stroke from chairman Daniel Levy. At just 21 years old, Eriksen has already made quite the impression in his career. In the buildup to Euro 2012, the youngster was a key cog in Denmark's qualification past Portugal in their group. Further, his play at Dutch giants Ajax has helped the club to an incredible three consecutive Eredivisie titles. Thanks to his fine play, Eriksen was continuously linked with a move away from the Netherlands over the past few years, with Manchester United a notable suitor.

Christian Eriksen is a creative force from the middle of the park, something Tottenham has lacked. His vision and passing is incredible, as the Dane's ability to methodically pick apart a defence has become evident. Last season, an incredibly tough Champions League group pitted Eriksen's Ajax side with reigning Premier League, La Liga and Bundesliga champions Manchester City, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, respectively. However, the young midfielder was able to rise above these odds, providing four assists and even scoring a goal in the six group matches. Over the past few seasons, Christian Eriksen has shown the potential to be one of the top creative midfielders in the world.

The young Dane has already hit the ground running at White Hart Lane, after a few impressive performances, notably against Norwich and Europa League opponents Tromso. Eriksen will provide that spark that Tottenham have been missing and, if he can settle in England, will become a highly influential player to Andre Villas-Boas' side. Last season, Spurs had nobody who could unlock defences in a similar manner. Other sides may not have taken a gamble on him, but Spurs have shown considerable faith in Eriksen's ability. It was this belief that ultimately earned his signature, and in turn, it has seen them land one of the bargains of the summer.

Eriksen started playing football in his hometown Middelfart before his third birthday. In 2005 he switched to Odense Boldklub (OB), who competed in the Danish youth championships. His team lost the semi-final against Brondby, but afterwards he was named "Best Technical Player" of the tournament. The following year OB won the tournament, when Eriksen scored the only goal in the final. After some good performances for OB's U-16 team and later on U-19 team and the Danish U-17 team, major European football clubs including Chelsea and Barcelona began to take notice. The player had trials with Barcelona, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Milan, but finally decided to move to Ajax, stating "My first step should not be too big. I knew that playing in the Netherlands would be very good for my development. Then Ajax arrived and that was a fantastic option".

On 17 October 2008 it was announced that Eriksen had signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with Amsterdam-based Ajax. The transfer fee received by OB was estimated at €1 million. He worked his way through the youth teams, and was promoted to the first team squad in January 2010, where he was given the number 51 shirt. Within the month, he made his first team debut for the Dutch team in the Eredivisie on 17 January 2010 against NAC Breda. Ajax manager Martin Jol compared him to the likes of Ajax youth products Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart and described him as a good reader of the game in the traditional "number 10" role like the two Dutch internationals and Danish legend Michael Laudrup, who also played for Ajax.

On 25 March 2010 he scored his first goal for Ajax in a 6–0 win against Go Ahead Eagles in the Dutch Cup. On 10 April 2010, Eriksen extended his contract with Ajax until the summer of 2014, stating "I can still learn a lot here, I'm not finished yet and I hope I can mean a lot for the club”. On 6 May 2010, Eriksen played in the second match of the final of the 2009–10 Dutch Cup as Ajax beat Feyenoord 4-1, and 6–1 on aggregate. At the end of his first professional season at Ajax, Eriksen had played 21 competitive matches, scoring one goal. He made his debut for the Danish national team in March 2010, and was the youngest player of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

He was named Danish Football Player of the Year on 7 November after helping Ajax win the Eredivisie the previous year and guiding the national team to a successful Euro 2012 qualification campaign.

Eriksen left Ajax having appeared in 113 league matches, scoring 25 goals and 41 assists. He played in 16 matches for the KNVB Cup, scoring four goals and making four assists. He made 30 appearances on the continental stage for Ajax, scoring three goals, and making 9 assists all together.