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Stewart Coggin

Eriksen Staying Grounded

By April 19, 2011

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In Christian Eriksen Ajax possess one of the most exciting young midfielders in the world.

The 19-year-old is seen as the Great White Hope of Danish soccer and excelled in the recent friendly against England in Copenhagen.

But refreshingly Eriksen seems to operate without a major ego and appears in no hurry to leave Ajax.

"I'm not ready yet for a transfer. I feel like I only just arrived here," he recently told voetbalmagazine.nl.

"The step to a bigger club would be too big right now. I'm simply not ready yet."

Eriksen has scored four goals in 25 league matches for the Amsterdam outfit this season. He admitted in a recent interview with World Soccer magazine that he needs to improve his goalscoring after being prolific at youth level. But goals come with maturity, and I recall Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger making exactly the same observation when Cesc Fabregas was struggling to find the net in his teens.

Eriksen's preferred position is the No 10 role behind the striker and he has excelled there for Ajax as they remain in the thick of the title race. Eriksen's vision, dribbling ability and technique have often been worth the admission fee alone at the Amsterdam ArenA this season.

He has been linked with a move to Liverpool of late but one senses that he is ready to bide his time and that Barcelona are a more appealing prospect once he has completed his Ajax education.

Here is a young man in no hurry to jump ship despite being a target for some of Europe's major clubs. If only other players of the same age could show such restraint and resist the lure of bigger clubs before making a more mature decision on when to move.

Phil Cole / Getty Images


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