Modric hailed as world-class at Spurs and Madrid, but what does that make Eriksen?

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The Danish playmaker is among the most under-rated playmakers in world football, with it surprising to see the so-called elite courting other options


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If Christian Eriksen is the answer, then what is the question?

To Tottenham supporters, the poser put to them may well be: Who is the finest playmaker in the Premier League?

For the rest of a global Premier League following, any query reaching that conclusion is unlikely to have been more taxing than: Who is that blond haired lad who plays in midfield for Spurs?

Eriksen: Exciting times for Tottenham

The lack of recognition shown to Eriksen by an audience outside of White Hart Lane can border on the criminal at times.

There have even been occasions in the not too distant past when those inside the bubble at N17 have appeared blinded to the talent in front of their face.

When you find a true number 10, then play him at number 10.

Christian Eriksen Tottenham

Spurs have not always heeded that advice, with Eriksen considered to be a commodity that is merely happy to be involved, rather than one deserving of being catered to.

Regardless of his role, though, the Denmark international has invariably delivered.

Tottenham actually pulled off quite the coup in securing his signature back in 2013, with exploits as a talented teenager at Ajax having thrust his name onto the radar of clubs across Europe.

Pochettino: Eriksen can improve

At that point Spurs were a year on from seeing Luka Modric lured away to Real Madrid and caught up in another transfer storm which would see Gareth Bale tread a similar path to Santiago Bernabeu.

Those deals brought in than more than £110 million, but the general consensus is that the ‘Bale money’ was squandered as quickly as it was acquired.

It is difficult to argue against that.

Vlad Chiriches, Paulinho, Roberto Soldado, Erik Lamela and Nacer Chadli anybody? No, thought not.

Luka Modric Tottenham

Tottenham had, however, landed themselves quite the bargain in a £11.5 million deal for Eriksen.

What would that buy you now? Well, during the 2017 January transfer window, Stoke City signed Saido Berahino for £12m and Aston Villa, a Championship club, spent the same amount on Scott Hogan – that’s Scott Hogan of Stocksbridge Park Steels and Ashton United fame!

If Spurs fans were concerned as to the direction their club was heading as Bale finished packing his bags and dusting off his Spanish phrase book – and there were plenty of furrowed brows – then they need not have worried.

WATCH: Eriksen's Ajax highlights

With established names moved on, the path has been cleared for the superstars of tomorrow to guide the club towards a bright future under the tutelage of Mauricio Pochettino.

Home-grown hero Harry Kane has emerged as the king of Haringey, with Dele Alli the crown prince.

Eriksen, though, is very much a member of the Tottenham royal family, with his exploits since arriving on English shores having helped to erase the painful memories of those that went before him.

Christian Eriksen 16 17

Critics have suggested that he has a tendency to go missing in big games, but similar barbs have been shot at Zlatan Ibrahimovic throughout his career and he has not done too badly for himself.

As with any player of his ilk, Eriksen’s form and involvement in any given 90 minute contest is likely to mirror that of those around him – he needs the ball to make things happen and the assistance of others to allow him to be the puppet master pulling the strings.

This season, those traits have been on show on a regular basis, helping a man who is still just 25 years of age (how is that possible?) to finally earn a standing alongside the great and good of Premier League football.

'Alli can match Gerrard & Gazza'

Former Spurs midfielder Danny Murphy has told the Evening Standard of his exploits: “He’s on fire at the moment. I think the new system’s helping him. The new formation with the wing-backs higher up the pitch means he can venture infield more.”

Whatever the reason for his consistent displays, Eriksen has helped to fill a Modric-shaped void and then some.

The Croatian spent four years at White Hart Lane and his successor is approaching that mark, with both men having played a similar amount of football in the famous lilywhite shirt of Spurs.

Luka Modric 16 17

Throughout his stay, Eriksen – who has created more chances than any other player in the English top-flight this season – has more than doubled the tallies set by Modric in terms of assists and goals scored.

He has also presented far more opportunities to grateful team-mates, while offering greater ammunition from crosses and corners whipped into dangerous areas of the field.

His efforts in 2016-17 have also eclipsed those of a man gracing the grandest of La Liga and Champions League stages and one dubbed “world-class” by none other than Madrid legend Raul as recently as mid-March.

'If Pogba cost £89m, what is Alli worth?'

There can be no resting on his laurels, with head coach Pochettino having said of his displays: “He is one of the most creative players in the Premier League, but that doesn’t mean this is enough, or that he cannot achieve a better level. We are here to push him every day to try to achieve that.”

They have every right to do so, and to expect plentiful rewards.

After all, if football logic dictates that Paul Pogba plus Manchester United equals £89 million and Philippe Coutinho can be considered a rightful heir to Xavi at Barcelona, then Christian Eriksen is certainly greater than or equal to Luka Modric.

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