In the footsteps of Michael Laudrup, Frank Arnesen, Jesper Grønkjaer, Søren Lerby, Dennis Rommedahl and Jesper Olsen, Christian Dannemann Eriksen is the newest Dane at Ajax.

2010 has been a year of highlights for Christian Eriksen: his debut for Ajax, his debut for Denmark, playing at the World Cup and playing in the Champions League. He said: ‘what some players experience in their whole career, is what I’ve experienced in less than a year’.

Eriksen, born on February 14, 1992, currently is the biggest talent in Ajax’ squad. Before he joined Ajax in 2008 he has been on trial at Chelsea and FC Barcelona but he chose for Ajax. He started for the U17’s but joined the U19’s at the end of his first season and started to train with the first team. He joined the first team in January 2010 and made his debut on January 17 against NAC Breda. The Dane made his debut for his country two months later. Martin Jol has compared him to the likes of Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart and described him as a good reader in the traditional no. 10 role. Jol also said: ‘In two years Christian will be a good, a very good or a top player’.

Eriksen is a joy to watch, he has a fluidity and style in his actions combined with superb technical ability. Physically he’s light but he compensates for this with his speed, technique and excellent positioning. The Ajax number 8 has a good right foot, crosses the ball well and can play decisive passes that can open a defence. For someone who’s only 18 years old, he has a remarkable insight and vision of the game. His actions looks simple due to his instinctive natural qualities. For such a big talent like he is, Ajax is the perfect place to develop further.

Of course, the 18-year old Dane has weak sides. One of those is his lack of scoring so far. In 21 appearances for Ajax, he only scored two goals. This is something that should improve but that should come with more playing time.

So far, we have seen glimpses of his class but he didn’t succeed yet to get his first team spot. Where Rafael van der Vaart and Wesley Sneijder already were more involved in the team at the age of 18, Eriksen hasn’t made many appearances in the line up. When he got a chance to play, he has been mostly used as a left midfielder, which is obvious not his spot. He started in one of Ajax’ most important games of the last few years: Dynamo Kiev at home. If Ajax would win it, they’d reach the Champions League for the first time in four years. Eriksen was played wide and he lost the ball a lot with bad passes.  It was that Maarten Stekelenburg saved a few hundred percent chances from counter attacks in the first 20 minutes. You could see that spot didn’t feel like home for him. Christian Eriksen is a playmaker. He has to play behind the striker(s). Especially in the early days of his career. He first has to grow on his favorite spot before he can be used on different spots. Confidence is needed but he’s mentally  strong and keen to succeed at Ajax. After a period of struggling when he came back from the World Cup, Eriksen is finding his form again. He feels better and he plays better.

I hope Martin Jol will give him more chances to play on his favorite spot. Against BV Veendam in the Dutch Cup last month, he played as a playmaker and was our best player. Even though it was ‘just’ Veendam, it was important for him to start from the first minute. For me, it was the first time I saw the ‘real’ Christian Eriksen and what a special player he is.

Someone asked him once what his dream is. Christian’s answer: ‘winning the championship with Ajax’. He didn’t mention his dream club, winning the Champions League or winning the World Cup. No, Ajax is what matters to him now. Despite interest from other clubs, he showed his commitment to the club to lengthen his deal to 2014. He has said that only when he has fully learned his trade and become a top player at Ajax then maybe he will consider moving abroad.

by Babettex23