We’ve heard for a while now that Arsenal are interested in signing Ajax captain Jan Vertonghen in the summer. The big Belgium International is thought to be keen to team up with his compatriot Thomas Vermaelen at the Emirates stadium and Ajax are more or less resigned to his leaving in the summer.
But a recent report on Caught Offside suggested that Arsenal were looking to launch a double raid on Ajax. The players that fall under the Gunner’s crosshairs are the aforementioned Vertonghen and Danish wonderkid Christian Eriksen.
Eriksen is one of European football’s premium young talents (he’s often mentioned in conjunction with Dortmund’s £30m-rated Mario Goetze when conversation turns to the best up and coming players) and he’s renowned for his attacking prowess.
He has a Cesc Fabregas-esque ability to find space for himself on the ball and comes complete with good vision and a remarkable range of passing. He can deliver great long balls, decisive through-balls and effective, quick short-range possession keeping passes.
What’s more he doesn’t freeze up in front of goal (unlike, say… Aaron Ramsey). The young Dane has scored 6 goals in 18 appearances for Ajax and a rate of a goal every three games is pretty impressive for a midfielder of his age.
There remain some concerns surround his physicality. He’s just 20-years-old and is a little slight which may lead him to struggle against teams that set out to bully and hassle opponents. Whilst this hasn’t really affected him whilst playing for Ajax a move to the Premier League would see him face tougher, more tenacious sides and it’s difficult to know how he’d cope.
The fact is, however, if he’s good enough, he’s good enough. I don’t recall Cesc ever really being out-fought, despite his slight-frame and his diminuitive stature. Eriksen always looks assured on the ball and has good enough speed of thought that he spray out an effective ball before he has to worry about incoming tackles.
The main concern for Wenger here must surely be the price. Sir Alex Ferguson has publicly stated that he’s watching Eriksen, whilst the likes of AC Milan and Liverpool are also thought to be interested in acquiring his services. With Ajax also keen to keep a hold of one of their brightest young things, I think it’s fair to say that the Gunners would have to smash their transfer record if they’re to attain him this summer.
I can’t help but feel that he’d fit in perfectly at Arsenal. Whilst it may force the likes of Emmanuel Frimpong and Abou Diaby into moving on, the Gunners need a little more craft and technical ability in the centre of midfield and in that respect, Eriksen is the right man for the job.
What’s your take? Would you take Eriksen at the Emirates?
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