The country that produced world-class footballers like Jon Dahl Tomasson and Peter Schmeichel has created yet another star in the making - Ajax midfield maestro Christian Eriksen.
The youngster’s vision and skill hasn’t gone unnoticed in the world of football, as he is red-hot property in the market moving towards the January transfer window. Here’s why…
Eriksen first came to prominence in 2005 when he competed for the Danish youth championships with Odense Boldklub, and some excellent performances with the club over the next few years triggered a call to the Danish U-17 side.
Scouts from some of Europe's top clubs had begun to take notice and in no time Eriksen had trials with AC Milan, Barcelona and Chelsea. But, a tentative Eriksen decided to join Dutch giants Ajax instead, stating that he wanted to develop as a player and not rush into a big move.
Eriksen signed a two and a half year contract with the Godenzonen for €1million, and started off life with the Ajax youth teams before working his way up to the senior side. Eriksen was named Danish ‘talent of the year’ in 2010, and this talent was showcased in a match against Willem II when the player scored a solo goal, running from the halfway line and finishing off with a thunderous strike.
On May 2011, Eriksen was named Dutch Football Talent of the Year, as he was a regular fixture in Ajax starting line-up and was the driving force of the midfield.
Eriksen could fit into any midfield in the world, as he is a perfectionist when it comes to passing the ball. The 20-year-old can play right behind the forward as a central attacking midfielder, on the wings to provide pace and quality crosses or even further back in a traditional midfield role if necessary.
The young Dane’s adaptability is commendable, and is one of the reasons why he is rated so highly at such a young age.
Eriksen has had the prestige of playing through all the ranks for the Danish national team, from the under 17s to the under 21s, and received his first senior call-up to the Denmark national team in February 2010. He was the youngest participating player at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and starred in two of their group games against the Netherlands and Japan.
He even played a friendly against England in 2011, earning plenty of praise for his performance from both pundits and his opposition alike.