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Christian Eriksen names Arsenal legend as playing a massive part in his development

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Christian Eriksen will be looking to make his mark on Danish football history tonight, as they visit the Republic of Ireland in the second leg of their crucial World Cup play-off.

The Euro 1992 winners have qualified for just two of the last seven major international tournaments, the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, but failed to make it past the group stage at either.

They travel to Dublin following a frustrating 0-0 draw in the first leg in Copenhagen on Saturday night, though it does mean a score draw in Dublin would take them through on away goals.

Eriksen played in that dismal 2010 World Cup in South Africa at the age of 18, and became their youngest ever goalscorer against Iceland in 2011, beating Michael Laudrup's record by nine days.

Following his good form at both international and club level, playing for Ajax at the time, he signed for Tottenham in 2013 for a reported £11m, and has gone onto record 34 assists and 40 goals in 145 Premier League games.

Eriksen has gone on to form a frightening partnership with Dele Alli and Harry Kane, who've helped lead Spurs to third and second-placed finishes in the last two years under Mauricio Pochettino.

The Dane's creativity and ability from set-pieces makes him one of the best playmakers in the top flight, but he credits an Arsenal legend with a vital role into developing him into the footballer that he is.

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While at Ajax, the 25-year-old was coached by Dennis Bergkamp, who won three Premier League titles and four FA Cups with the Gunners.

Eriksen says the Dutchman's ability on the ball and his intelligence helped him to develop his own skills and attributes, just by watching him in training.

"In my first year at Ajax we had some sessions with Dennis Bergkamp and Wim Jonk," he told Sky Sports.

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"We did this passing drill with a striker from the team. We worked on certain movements, learning how to measure his runs and then passing the ball to exactly the right place at exactly the right moment.

"Even then, you could always see Dennis' charisma and confidence on the ball. He always knew how to take his first touch and where the ball needed to end up afterwards.

"I learned a lot from watching him and working with him. It helped me when I made it through to the first team."

Dennis Bergkamp of Arsenal

The Spurs number 23 added that Bergkamp's help has enabled him to strike up the partnership he has with Kane in North London.

He believes that the England forward is "perfect", and that he is already the complete striker.

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"He's the perfect striker, I think," he continued. "He scores goals, he helps the team, he can hold the ball, he can use his head. He can do a bit of everything.

"We have a good connection. Harry knows where to run and I know how to find him, so it's a good mix."

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Topics:
Mauricio Pochettino
Arsenal
Football
Ajax
Tottenham Hotspur
Christian Eriksen
Dennis Bergkamp

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