Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen has credited former Arsenal striker Dennis Bergkamp with playing a major role in developing his creative talents.
Spurs face the Gunners in the north London derby on Saturday, when victory for Mauricio Pochettino’s side would pull them seven points clear of their fiercest rivals.
Eriksen is likely to be key at the Emirates Stadium given he has arguably been Tottenham’s most consistent performer this season behind the sensational Harry Kane.
The Dane joined from Ajax in 2013 and it was at the Dutch club where he says he learned from the attacking genius of Bergkamp. Bergkamp scored 87 league goals for Arsenal between 1995 and 2006.
“In my first year at Ajax we had some sessions with Dennis Bergkamp and Wim Jonk,” Eriksen told Sky Sports.
“We did this passing drill with a striker from the team. We worked on certain movements, learning how to measure runs and then passing the ball to exactly the right place at exactly the right moment.
“Even then, you could always see Dennis’ charisma and confidence on the ball. He always knew how to take his first touch and where the ball needed to end up afterwards.
“I learned a lot from watching him and working with him. It helped me when I made it through to the first team.”
Eriksen has three goals and two assists in the Premier League already this term and he was particularly impressive in last month’s 3-1 demolition of Real Madrid.
Barcelona are among those to have sent scouts to watch the 25-year-old in this year’s Champions League but Eriksen signed a four-year contract last year and enjoys a close relationship with Pochettino.
“He trusts me completely. You feel that trust and it makes you want to do everything for him,” Eriksen said.
“He has given stability not only to me but to the whole club. That’s the main thing for a player.
“You feel comfortable, you feel aware of everything around you and you don’t think about anything other than football when you’re on the pitch.
“All the players have long-term contracts. They feel safe being here. It’s why you commit your future to a place like this.”
Published at Tue, 14 Nov 2017 15:54:02 +0000