Why he’s the key to Tottenham’s Champions League ambitions

Christian Eriksen is certainly one Tottenham Hotspur player who has really stepped up to the mark at White Hart Lane this season. The Dane has won vital Premier League points with numerous late goals, and superb performances – but just how important is Eriksen for Spurs’ top four ambitions?

Since the Danish international arrived in north London, he has been one of Spurs’ most consistent and standout players, becoming a real fan favourite in the process. Eriksen has stacked up 47 Premier League appearances for the Lilywhites – scoring 15 times. And this season, the 22-year-old has gone up another level, just when Tottenham have been in desperate need for somebody to stand up and be counted.

Eriksen’s strikes have won Mauricio Pochettino’s men 13 league points overall – a remarkable stat, which just proves how vital the midfielder is. The playmaker struck the only goal in Spurs’ 1-0 win over Pochettino’s former club Southampton in early October, then goals against Hull City, Everton, Swansea City, Leicester City and most recently Sunderland on Saturday; have all been the difference of turning one point into three. There also seems to be a theme developing with his goals; his finishes against Hull, Swansea and Sunderland have all been in the 88th minute or later.

It is not just his beautiful technique when finding the back of the net that makes Eriksen so valuable either, it is the way he glides around the pitch, demanding the ball under any circumstances, and more often than not, he finds that killer pass to unlock the defence. Eriksen was top of the Spurs assist chart last season with nine, and he duly won the Tottenham Hotspur Player of the Year award.

The Lilywhites are still going strong in four competitions. They reached the knockout stages of the Europa League with ease and sit sixth place in the Premier League – just three points off a Champions League spot. Mauricio Pochettino’s men saw off Burnley in an FA Cup replay to set up a fourth round tie with Leicester City at White Hart Lane this Saturday. Pochettino’s side are also in the driving seat in the Capital One Cup semi-final, after beating League One side Sheffield United 1-0 in the first-leg – with the second-leg coming up at Bramall Lane on Wednesday night.

Tottenham have played more games than any top flight team so far this term, and Eriksen has featured in all but five of Spurs’ 36 matches thus far. He has been a major catalyst that has seen Tottenham turn a pretty average campaign into a very intriguing one that could possibly end with a trophy and Champions League football to boot.

After minor speculation that he could have been on his way out of White Hart Lane in the summer, Eriksen seems more than happy with life at the Lane. Not only is he enjoying a very successful personal campaign but his club are seemingly heading in the right direction also.