Just 18 years old and having already made his debut for the Danish national team, the future looks very bright for Christian Eriksen, a recent addition to the Ajax first team and one of Scandinavia’s brightest young talents.
A willowy but deceptively fast attacking midfielder, Eriksen began his career with his hometown club Middelfart in the south east of Denmark before being scouted at the age of 13 and moving to Odense Boldklub (OB), one of the Danish Superliga’s most succesful clubs. Despite never breaking into the OB first team squad, Eriksen produced consistently excellent performances for the club’s Under-16 and Under-19 sides, displays which led to him being named the “Danish U17 Talent of the Year” in 2008.
It was later in that same year that Eriksen, who was being monitored by several of Europe’s biggest clubs (Chelsea were rumoured to be interested), was signed by Ajax for a fee of around £1m. After two years as a part of the Amsterdam club’s famous youth system, Eriksen made his debut for the first team in January this year and has since gone on to make another ten Eredivisie appearances in recent months.
So inexorable his rise and so clear his ability, Denmark’s national team Coach, Morten Olsen, had no hesitation in calling Eriksen up to the senior squad in March on the back of an excellent performance against Juventus in the Europa League. Coming on as a substitute, Eriksen became the third youngest Danish international of all-time in his country’s 2-1 defeat to Austria in Vienna.
As he continues to go from strength to strength, it looks like Eriksen could well develop into an exceptional player, a modern incarnation of Michael Laudrup for a new era. Furthermore, alongside the likes of Simon Kjaer and Nicklas Bendtner, Eriksen has the chance to form the fulcrum of a hugely gifted new generation of Danish players and perhaps take football in his country back to the levels it reached with that extraordinary European Championships triumph in 1992.