Christian Eriksen: scout report
Christian Eriksen has always been named as one of the biggest talents in his age group around Europe. Ever since Denmark knew they had another gem on their hands he has been compared to Danish legend and current Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup. Christian Eriksen was the equivalent of Danish hope. With him, the golden time of 1992 would be relived.
Christian Dannemann Eriksen was born on Valentine’s Day, 1992. He started playing football at the age of three at local club Middelfart Sanderum before joining Odense BK, a club that competed in the Danish youth championships.
Eriksen has been raised in a footballing family. Both his parents played the game and also his little sister enjoys a game of football. From the start, Eriksen oozed talent. After some good performances for Odense BK’s U16 team and later on U19 team and the Danish U17 team, major European football clubs including Chelsea and Barcelona began to take notice.
The player had trials with Barcelona, Chelsea, and AC Milan but when Ajax showed interest it was ultimately an easy decision for the 16-year old Dane. He stated: “My first step should not be too big. I knew that playing in the Netherlands would be very good for my development. Then Ajax arrived and that was a fantastic option”.
On 17 October 2008, it was announced that Eriksen had signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with Ajax. The transfer fee received by Odense BK was estimated at €1 million. Eriksen 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. Former Ajax manager Martin Jol compared him to the likes of Ajax youth products Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart and described him as a good reader of the game in the traditional “number 10? role like the two Dutch internationals.
In April 2010, Eriksen extended his contract with Ajax until June 2014, stating: “I can still learn a lot here, I’m not finished yet and I hope I can mean a lot for the club.” At the end of his first professional season at Ajax, Eriksen had played 21 competitive matches and has made his debut for the Danish national team.
The 2010-11 season was the one of Eriksen’s breakthrough. The Dane became more and more important for Ajax during the season in which he developed himself into an undisputed starter in the side that won Ajax’s first Eredivisie title in seven years. As a reward he was named both Ajax’s and Dutch Talent of the Year. Johan Cruyff praised him: “He’s a player I really like with all my heart. The talent is there, the recognition also; now it is up to the player himself. He is a typical product of the Danish school. You can compare him with Brian and Michael Laudrup. Only time will tell if Eriksen can reach the same level as them.”
He has been a rising star ever since and he has played a big part in Ajax’s two following championship. The 21-year-old Dane’s contract expires in June next year.