The comparisons were inevitable. Who is better, Mesut Ozil or Christian Eriksen?
‘I think he has achieved a little bit more than me,’ said a humble Eriksen, in his first interview since arriving from Ajax in the summer.
‘I am a few years younger and still have to learn a lot. It is nice to be compared, but from what I have heard it is not good to be compared with Arsenal players! But really, it is pretty cool to be compared with such big players.’
To an extent, he is spot on. Ozil has mesmerised audiences in the Bundesliga and La Liga, while his eye-catching debut for Arsenal on Saturday suggests a similar story in the Barclays Premier League.
Eriksen has only conquered the Dutch Eredivisie, so maybe the comparisons are premature — but the race is on to prove who is north London’s leading ‘No 10’.
The Dane enjoyed an excellent debut against Norwich on Saturday and he certainly has the pedigree. You don’t come through the Ajax academy and go straight into the first team at the age of 18 without being some player.
‘I never got to train with the likes of Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart but I am from the club where they were,’ said Eriksen, now 21.
‘I am not Dutch, but I am from a club where they both played with the same style.
‘They’ve had really big success when they left Ajax so I hope I can achieve the same.’
At £11.5million, Eriksen is a relative snip compared to Spurs’ other transfer business this summer.
Andre Villas-Boas broke the club’s transfer record three times, signing Paulinho (£17m), Roberto Soldado (£26m) and Erik Lamela (£30m).
‘Why did I come to Spurs? It just felt right,’ said Eriksen.
‘I talked a little bit with the manager — but I had more to do with the chairman (Daniel) Levy and the director (Franco) Baldini. They were the guys who really had the right words.
‘The things they said and when it came to looking around it just felt right and it was pretty easy for me to say yes.
‘I also talked a lot with (former Ajax team-mate) Jan Vertonghen and texted him a few times so he had a big role.’
Eriksen is well aware of the level of expectation on Spurs’ shoulders this season.
‘I think everybody, first and foremost, wants to be in the Champions League next season, for sure,’ he said. ‘Then we have, of course, to become champions. That is why he spent so much money on good players. That is just the sort of thing I want to be part of.
‘I think our title chances are really good. We have had a good beginning and it is pretty easy to play with such good players.
‘Arsenal are above us in the league at the moment, so we will have to turn that around for a start.’ – Daily Mail