By Danny Wright
Former Denmark and Aston Villa goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen believes that Christian Eriksen struggled to cope with pressure when he first arrived at Tottenham.
Eriksen, 25, arrived in North London from Ajax in 2013 and it took him some time to live up to his billing as a true emerging talent in European football.
However now, four years into his Spurs career, Eriksen is looking like one of the best playmakers in British football and has been a huge driving force behind the club’s success in recent seasons.
Sorensen spent two years as Eriksen’s team-mate in the Danish national team set-up before his retirement and believes that the Spurs ace’s early woes came down to the label of him being dubbed the ‘next Michael Laudrup’.
“He [Eriksen] has done tremendously well. I think in the past he probably struggled with the pressure a little bit. He’s such a laid back, quiet guy, almost too nice at times and I think that kept him back. His confidence has grown over the last couple of years. Now he’s playing at a world-class level, week in and week out, but he’s also doing it in the Danish team,” said the ex-goalkeeper, as quoted by Sky Sports.
“He’s probably struggled with being branded as ‘the next Michael Laudrup’ and those things that came with it when he was younger, but he’s grown into the role and people see him for what he is – he’s comfortable with that now. He’s thriving, he’s scoring goals, he’s instrumental and if Denmark want to achieve something, they need him.”
Eriksen, like Sorensen said, is now thriving with Tottenham and is arguably one of the most influential players in Mauricio Pochettino’s squad.
This season, the Danish wizard has made 15 appearances across all competitions, scoring four goals and supplying four assists in the process.
Sorensen will now no doubt be hoping that the Tottenham star can help Denmark qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia next summer over the next few days.
The Danes face a two-legged play-off tie with the Republic of Ireland, with the first game on Saturday.
In other Tottenham news, Eric Dier has raved about one of Spurs Premier League title rivals.