Traditionally, Liverpool’s relationship with Denmark has always been a pretty good one.
Admittedly we’ll have to overlook the Torben Piechnik years to continue on with this theme, but the unions with Jan Molby, Daniel Agger and even Carlsberg have all worked out successfully, so much so that the club are now reportedly chasing the next great Dane.
Over the past couple of months there have been more and more reports of Liverpool’s interest in Ajax’s impressive 21-year-old attacking midfielder, Christian Eriksen, a player who has impressed virtually everyone who has come across him in both the Eredivisie and on the international stage, where he has already won 36 caps for Denmark.
These reports―from outlets such as the Daily Express, the Evening Standard and the Metro―are simply refusing to go away, and they have given Liverpool’s supporters grand ideas for just how their team could look next season.
Eriksen is clearly a gifted performer.
Capable of popping up in virtually any position on the pitch, the Dane combines his fine overall skills with a relentless workrate and would comfortably slot into most teams across the continent.
Liverpool would, of course, face a huge task in attempting to prise him away from Ajax, and it is a task that they could ultimately fail in.
Ajax currently sit a point clear at the top of the Eredivisie, facing a battle with PSV Eindhoven, Feyenoord and Vitesse Arnhem for the league title, but certainly looking far more likely to secure Champions League football next season than Liverpool currently are.
With Eriksen’s contract in Amsterdam running down, the Dane faces a tough decision in the summer and is sure to be courted by several of the leading clubs.
Given that he plays in a national team captained by Agger and broke through in an Ajax side in which Luis Suarez was very much the star attraction, the Liverpool links with Eriksen are already there for all to see. The question now has to be whether or not they can convince him to make the move to Anfield and the Premier League.
Brendan Rodgers is constructing a hard-working team who are capable of producing performances of flair and courage, and Eriksen would certainly fit into that. Not only would he do that, he’d also act as surely the biggest name brought to the club by the Northern Irishman so far―bigger even than Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho, with whom Eriksen could dovetail in support of the talents of Suarez. All four in the same team would be quite a sight.
Yet a potential deal remains way off of course, with the key elements of European football and wages the likely stumbling blocks.
Given that he is just 21 and is seeing his market value drop due to that contract running down, then Eriksen would, on paper at least, represent a perfect move for Fenway Sports Group as they continue to try and make Liverpool as vibrant and youthful as possible, but with plenty of the moneyed clubs sniffing around Eriksen, the Reds are likely to have to do a lot of persuading.
They’ll be hoping that the Liverpool name―still huge in Scandinavia―will help them out in this regard, whilst a few well-placed words in the ear from Agger and Suarez wouldn’t go amiss either.
With the club desperate to cling onto the coattails of the teams above them both domestically and on the continent, such a signing would indicate that the Reds are still a big player on the European stage. It would send out a powerful message.
It is still probably more likely not to happen, but a Liverpool move for Eriksen would see the club taken even more seriously next season.
If that Danish union is to go on, then there a few better ways for it to do so.