Many in England will know Christian Eriksen from his recent friendly against England, he was outstanding sitting behind striker and took many by surprise. He was the best thing on show that night, despite an impressive first start from Jack Wilshere.
Eriksen has also been gaining great plaudits in Holland, Frank De Boer giving him more responsibility since he replaced Jol. Christian has not disappointed helping Ajax to their first league title in 7 years. A little more on Eriksen can be found at TTFootball, the 19 year old looks to have a bright future and De Boer and Cryuff look to build the future Ajax side around him.
He has also become a vital part to my Football Manager 2o11 Udinese side. Signed in the Janurary transfer window of 2011/12 for £6.75m he reprsented everything I needed from my strategy, young and relatively cheap, matching the Udinese strategy of real. Stiff competition from mainly Defour kept the 19 year old out of the side when he first arrived. He managed 18 appearance in all competitions but failed to deliver anything in return. But Christian would slowly estsablish himself into the side and as we celebrated our first Serie A title Eriksen contributed with 3 goals, 3 assists in 20 games.
Even after two seasons at the club and yet to reach his potential, other big clubs were gathering around him battling for his signature. Athletico Madrid were first to show real interest landing him putting in a £24m bid for the player. I quickly accepted finding the bid to good to refuse, I had to sell to in keep with the strategy of buy low sell high to keep Udinese competitive. But the transfer deal fell through as Christian couldn’t agree a suitable contract with Los Colchoneros.
Timing couldn’t have been better, with news that had Eriksen decided to stay in Italy, Inler left. Defour was moved back into a deep-lying playmaker and injuries would allow the 21 year old to settle into the first team. Already a certain starter on the international circuit, he quickly came to the fore as he gained first team experience.
Eriksen posses great pace, fantastic off the mark. Coupled with great mental attributes of anticipation, off the ball skills and determination he is ideal as a player that you want to see come in arriving late to put the ball into the back of the net when playing behind the striker. But what makes him even more deadly is his role as a the modern number 10. Great with the ball at his feet, with skill to dribble, control it with his first touch, technique and creativity all of which allow him to support the man in front of him.
Christian would reward us in 2013/14 for his entrusting him in the first team racking up 27 assists and 12 goals in all competitions. But what was wonderful was he versatlity, able to play in the central midfield and out wide as an inside-forward. But his best position would often come behind the striker and there he will stay
At 22 he enters the new season as a certain starter and someone to build the team around. With plenty of time to continue to grow £24m now looks like a bargain, when you consider that I sold a 27 year old Veloso at the same price. I will imagine selling The Great Dane for an extra £10m in the next few years after he has helped take Udinese to the next stage in our development.