What Signing Christian Eriksen Would Mean for Liverpool

Mark JonesFeatured ColumnistApril 23, 2013

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 19:  Christian Eriksen of Ajax in action during the  Eredivisie match between Ajax Amsterdam and SC Heerenveen at Amsterdam Arena on April 19, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Before Luis Suarez took his customary place in the headlines over the weekend, the majority of Liverpool-related news stories were concerning another player who has made a mark at Ajax.

Of course Sunday saw a different definition of “making a mark” than anyone at Liverpool would have been comfortable with, but the draw with Chelsea at Anfield represented another step on the Reds’ road towards next season.

It is a campaign which is likely to be crucial to both the immediate and long-term future of the club.

Liverpool haven’t played Champions League football since December 2009, a sorry state of affairs given that they won the competition in 2005 and were beaten finalists in 2007.

It has led many supporters of the club to despair that the Reds aren’t able to attract the biggest names to come and play for them anymore, a situation which is only going to worsen should Suarez pack his bags and take his controversy with him somewhere else over the summer.

The signs are that he’ll stay though, while there are other signs indicating that he could soon be joined by an old friend.

Although Ajax are doing all they can to deny that any deal has yet been done (Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Sky Sports), the rumours linking their Danish international star Christian Eriksen with the Reds continue to grow.

A colleague of Suarez in Amsterdam for a year-and-a-half as the 21-year-old broke through into the first team at the Eredivisie giants, Eriksen has established himself as one of the most exciting young players in Europe today―so much so that there are plenty of clubs sitting up and taking notice of the fact that he is running down his contract and more than likely to leave the Dutch capital this summer.

It is safe to assume that some of those suitors will be playing Champions League football next season, and that is why the potential signing of Eriksen would signify so much for Liverpool in their current state.

Seeing the stylish, creative and attacking midfielder linking up with Suarez and his Danish international captain Daniel Agger would show that Liverpool can still compete at the top end when it comes to attracting players.

In previous years they have seen targets such as Ashley Young and Phil Jones slip out of their reach due to what is on offer elsewhere, but a move for Eriksen has the potential to show that Liverpool still really matter on the world football landscape.

It would be a huge boost for Brendan Rodgers, too, just a year after the huge transfer frustrations that blighted his first few months at the helm at Anfield.

Where Eriksen would fit in to Liverpool’s plans should he sign would remain to be seen, but with the likes of Suarez, Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and Steven Gerrard to spark off then he could end up being the fuel that lights the Reds’ fire.

Any transfer is still a long way off of course, and as Liverpool know there are still several hurdles to overcome, but if this one could come off then Rodgers will be the toast of some jubilant Reds supporters.

Eriksen played in the Champions League with Ajax this season, so a move to a club who by the end of 2013/14 won’t have been in the competition for four-and-a-half years might be seen as a huge risk on his part, but it could just be a calculated one.

He’s got the quality to help lead Liverpool back towards the top, and a successful conclusion to this transfer saga might just help the club get back there.