Tottenham boss: Eriksen can be as good as Sneijder

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Andre Villas-Boas believes Christian Eriksen has the potential to emulate former Ajax greats Wesley Sneijder and Rafael Van der Vaart.

Eriksen completed a €12 million switch to Spurs during the transfer window, and is in line to make his debut for the club against Norwich this weekend at White Hart Lane.

Spurs have lacked creativity in their opening three Premier League fixtures so far this season and are yet to score from open play - but Villas-Boas believes they have landed a player in Eriksen capable of reaching the heights of Sneijder and former White Hart Lane favourite Van der Vaart.

“What we did in the transfer market is in the expectancy of these players becoming world stars,” said the Portuguese. “I think what happened with Christian is a bit like what happened with Van der Vaart and Sneijder when they were at Ajax.

“They reached a moment in their careers where they became extremely important for the team, and the club that goes there and gets them makes a great transfer move, and we expect great things of Christian Eriksen. We would like to develop him into becoming that type of important player for us as well.

Eriksen, along with fellow new arrivals Erik Lamela and Vald Chiriches trained with their new team-mates for the first time two weeks ago, before departing for international duty.

Villas-Boas continued: “To train with the team, to have the experiences with their colleagues - for Eriksen, for Vlad and Lamela - they haven’t had enough time to bond together so it’s something we have to work on.”

The former Chelsea coach also warned about expecting too much too soon from record signing Lamela, who returned from international duty with Argentina earlier today.

“I think the qualities that he brings to our team are his creativeness, his ability to find a pass and the last pass that leads to a goal,” he said.

“He is a natural talent. He is not a pure winger, he is creative and likes to come inside and find different spaces. He’s a player with tremendous potential that we have to work on.

“He is going to suffer problems of adaptation, bearing in mind the fact that he doesn’t speak a word of English. He has to adapt to a completely different culture and mentality.

“Also the Premier League is very specific in its intensity. It’s nothing like the Argentinean league or Serie A, so that will require some kind of adaptation, but for somebody so gifted it shouldn’t be a problem. He is a wonderful, gifted footballer.

“The fact that he’s yet to train with the team puts him in a very difficult position to start the game, but it’s not impossible.”

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Tottenham Hotspur
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