Christian Eriksen can become one of the Barclays Premier League’s best playmakers and go down in Tottenham folklore, according to team-mate Jan Vertonghen.
The 22-year-old arrived in the summer of 2013 among the flurry of transfer dealings in the wake of Gareth Bale’s record-breaking move to Real Madrid.
Eriksen has so far proved the pick of the bunch and, after a slow start to this campaign, is beginning to show his potential once more, impressing in Wednesday’s Capital One Cup quarter-final against Newcastle.
The Denmark international, with three goals in his last six matches, pulled the strings as Spurs triumphed 4-0, earning a two-legged semi-final against third-tier Sheffield United and the praise of former Ajax team-mate Vertonghen.
“As a playmaker, I think he can be one of the best in the Premier League,” the defender said.
“I’ve played with him since he was 16 or 17, so probably for six or seven years now. He’s improving every season.
“In the end of his Ajax days, I think they were a bit critical because his stats weren’t as good as they should be, they said, but I think he shows now that he can score and get assists as well – and he’s a very hard worker.
“He’s in first (for training) and he’s on the pitch until the last minute and I’m a big fan of his and I’m happy I convinced him to come here.
“We had good contact when he was still at Ajax and we always kept in touch.
“They (Tottenham) obviously asked me what I thought of him and I was very positive, and I think I did my job to convince him to come here.”
Eriksen’s impressive performances in the lilywhite shirt have seen him become a fans’ favourite at a club synonymous with style.
Glenn Hoddle and Paul Gascoigne have wowed the fans in previous years, while Vertonghen believes he will soon be bracketed alongside modern greats such as Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart.
“He can reach their level, 100 per cent,” the Belgium international said.
“I know Luka and Rafael better as they’re playing in my era, but I know the reputation of Hoddle and Gascoigne and I think Christian can be one of the better players Spurs have ever had.”
The only thing lacking from Eriksen’s game last night was a goal, with Nabil Bentaleb, Nacer Chadli, Harry Kane and Roberto Soldado doing the damage in one of the best displays of the Mauricio Pochettino era.
It was a result Newcastle found hard to swallow, with full-back Massadio Haidara highlighting Chadli’s goal seconds after half-time as key.
“We are very disappointed because I know we can do better – we made things difficult for ourselves,” he told the club’s official website, www.nufc.co.uk. “The result is not what we wanted.
“The second goal was very important in the game – for both teams. It changed the game.
“Tottenham scored it and after that it was very difficult for us. We kept hope and tried to score but could not do it.”
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