Danish legend Laudrup hails 'classy' Christian
20 November 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Brian Laudrup knows talent when he sees it – and he’s backed his compatriot Christian Eriksen to hit new heights after a testing start to the campaign.
A summer 2013 arrival from Ajax, the Danish international helped himself to a healthy 10-goal haul in his debut season at White Hart Lane, as well as putting in some eye-catching performances under the Premier League spotlight.
Clearly keen to push on, he’s persevered through a difficult first few months of the 2014-15 campaign, during which he’s added a further three goals to his tally, and last week earned high praise following an encouraging performance in Denmark’s vital Euro 2016 qualifying victory over Serbia – in which he set up two goals as his nation ran out 3-1 winners.
Indeed, thanks to his endeavours to date, Christian has plenty of admirers on both sides of the North Sea. One of which is former Bayern Munich, Fiorentina and Rangers man Laudrup, who witnessed the 22-year-old’s goal at Manchester City in person last month.
“I think his first season with Tottenham was very, very good,” said Brian who, like Christian, also represented Ajax and the Danish national team during his career.
“If you look at when foreign players come to the Premier League it’s always a story of them having to adapt to life and football, but I think he’s settled in very well and delivered. He scored 10 goals last season and showed his quality.
“In Denmark I was asked about his second season and I said that I felt it was going to be difficult for him. The second season it always very difficult as the other teams know about your qualities. It’s going to be a tough season but he’s a very talented player.”
So what’s the key for Christian if he’s to go to the next level?
“Christian has tremendous ability with his passing,” said Brian, a record four-time Danish Player of the Year. “He needs players around him to make the runs as he’s not the quickest himself, but it’s difficult to say how good he can be.
“It would be wrong of me to compare him to players who are on another planet but he’s in that bracket of players who are international class – there’s no doubt about that. There are very few who have the level of class that Christian does – without putting any more pressure on him than that!”
Having started his own career in his homeland with Brondby in the mid-1980s, where he won back-to-back league titles, Brian was part of the Denmark squad that won the European Championship in 1992.
He followed that up two years later by winning both the Champions League and Serie A while on loan with AC Milan and later secured three consecutive Scottish Premier League titles with Rangers.
Assessing Christian’s potential, the decorated former Chelsea man reckons our attacking midfielder has the talent – and, crucially, the time – to shine on both the domestic and international stages.
“He’s very young which is what we tend to forget at times,” added the 45-year-old, who these days works as a television pundit. “Back home for the national team he’s got almost 50 caps and he’s only 22.
“He can definitely look to get 100 caps for Denmark, we’re looking at more like 130 or 140. If he can look after himself and not get any injuries then he can play for another 10 years.
“At the moment in the Premier League he’s trying to adapt to Mauricio Pochettino’s way of playing, which is different to other managers’, but he’s a very gifted player – there’s no doubt about that.”