Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is eager to clinch the signing of Ajax starlet Christian Eriksen. The 18-year-old has broken through to the Ajax first team making five appearances so far this season, with manager Martin Jol tipping the youngster for a bright future.
Former Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp, currently coaching at Ajax has reportedly informed the Arsenal boss about Eriksen’s exceptional talent, and urged the Frenchman to make a move for the player before he signs a new long term deal at the Dutch giants.
Eriksen is an attacking midfielder, who can also play in the second striker role, or “Dennis Bergkamp role” as Ajax fans have coined. Eriksen has great technical ability with a superb passing range which has been reflected when the starlet was crowned the Danish Under-17 Talent of the Year in 2008.
Eriksen has had trials at Arsenal’s Premier League rivals Chelsea, and Spanish giants Barcelona when he was 16-years-old and plying his trade in his homeland of Denmark, for hometown club Middelfart G & BK. The youngster moved from his boyhood club to Danish giants OB Odense between 2005 and 2008, before signing a three-year deal for Ajax in October 2008 for a fee believed to be in the region of £1 million.
Former Tottenham Hotspur boss and current Ajax manager Martin Jol admitted publicly last week that the Dutch club would face a fight to hang on to the talented youngster.
"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."
The Ajax coach waxed lyrical about the progress and natural talent of Eriksen in an interview with Algemeen Dagblad in early January. He said:
"Eriksen wouldn't have been added to the first team already if I had world class players such as Wesley Sneijder in my squad," Jol told Algemeen Dagblad.
"However, Ajax don't have that kind of luxury at the moment. Eriksen has been quite impressive though and he looks more like a 23-year-old than like the teenager he is when he enters the pitch.
"His vision is absolutely amazing. He notices everything that's happening around him when he's in possession. There's a chance that we'll add him to the match squad in one of our upcoming matches and he could very well make his debut in the near future."
Eriksen has been picked for Denmark at U-17, U-18, and U-19 level, with many pundits tipping the star to be picked in Denmark’s World Cup squad.