Ajax have produced some great players over the years. The likes of Dennis Bergkamp, Marc Overmars, Edwin van der Sar, the de Boer brothers, Clarence Seedorf, Edgar Davids and Patrick Kluivert have all come through the Ajax academy and gone on to achieve greatness on the world stage. Even though the great Ajax production line has dimmed recently, there is one player that could restore the Dutch club’s sterling reputation in bringing through youth player. That player is Christian Eriksen, the Danish midfielder who has been labelled as the “next Wesley Sneijder”, and his potential has alerted the likes of Arsene Wenger, who wants to bring the Dane to the Emirates next season.
The young Dane, 18, is on the verge of breaking into the Ajax first team squad and has made nine appearances for the Eredivisie club this season, with four of those coming off the bench. The midfielder also made his international debut for Denmark this year, playing in the loss to Austria this month. Eriksen has been compared with his illustrious predecessors at Ajax, drawing comparisons with the likes Michael Laudrup, Sneijder and Rafael Van der Vaart because of his style of play. An attacking midfielder and typical number 10, Eriksen is small but has good vision, dribbling skills and an incisive final pass, but has been playing out of position on the left wing for Ajax this season. He can play on the wing because he is genuinely two footed, which makes him a dangerous player when he is running at defenders with his pace.
Ajax boss Martin Jol has heaped praise on his midfield prodigy, saying:
“I have to be very wrong if this player will not become a good, a very good or a top player.”
Eriksen is wanted by a host of top European clubs, with the likes of Barcelona, Arsenal, Chelsea and Real Madrid interested in signing the Ajax prodigy. Dennis Bergkamp is a keen admirer of Eriksen’s abilities and has recommended him to Arsene Wenger, who is keen to bring the midfielder to the Emirates.
Eriksen’s contract at Ajax expires next year and as he is on a low-paid youth team deal, meaning that he can be signed on the cheap. If he can adapt as well to the Premiership as his former Ajax teammate Thomas Vermaelen, then he could be another great find for Arsenal. And with Arsene Wenger being one of the best managers in the world at developing young talent, then Arsenal could be a great platform for Eriksen to develop and fulfil that excellent potential.
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