Arsenal are being linked with a raid on Ajax for their attacking starlet Christian Eriksen. The Danish striker has been labeled as the new Dennis Bergkamp by none other than the original Dennis Bergkamp, who is now a coach in his native Holland.
The youngster began his youth career at Odense BK, a small club in the Danish Superliga. In his three years with the club tales of his prowess grew and his performances earned him the title of Danish U- 17 Talent of the year in 2008.
His excellent performances at youth level for both club and country meant invitations to trials with the worldâ€™s biggest clubs which included Barcelona andÂ Chelsea.
The smart Dane decided that his education would be furthered at Ajax, who possess a long history of educating their youngsters in the best footballing traditions. Additionally he knew that he would be given a greater opportunity to play for the starting eleven than he would be at the bigger clubs.
The youngster signed a 3 year contract with the Dutch giants in 2008. As his talent continued to flourish he diligently worked his way through the youth ranks and made his first team debut in the Eredivisie on 17 January 2010 against NAC Breda. In all, he has made 6 appearances, registering one assist.
Much like former Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp, his favoured position is playing behind the front man. He has great peripheral vision enabling him to spot runners bursting through the midfield or playing a defense splitting through ball for his partner to run on to.
Ajax are keen to fend off any interest in the attacker by getting him tied down to a new long-term deal. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will have to move quickly if he wishes to secure a deal.
Ajax boss Martin Jol knows he is going to face a battle to keep hold of the player but will do everything he can to get him tied down. He has stated:
“Christian recently turned 18 and we can now offer him a lengthy contract. His current contract is due to expire in the summer of 2011.”
“However, we are eager to offer him a new contract in the upcoming weeks. We want Christian to stay in Amsterdam for several more years. It all depends on what the player himself wants though.”
With Robin Van Persie atÂ Arsenal and a Dutch legend whispering the benefits of learning your trade under the watchful gaze ofÂ ArseneÂ Wenger the Professor, Arsenal may be able to steal a march on one of Europeâ€™s most sought after youngsters.
Christian Eriksen played the full 90 minutes for Ajax last weekend in their 4-nil drumming of Vitesse. His highlights can be seen here.