Tottenham new boy Christian Eriksen will not accept comparisons to Arsenal’s £42.4 million superstar Mesut Ozil, showing a healthy dose of realism in his young career.
Eriksen made an eye-catching impact on debut in Spurs’ 2-0 win over Norwich, playing a major role in both goals for Gylfi Sigurdsson.
However, he does not intend to become embroiled in a face-off with Ozil on the red side of North London, per Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror:
I think Ozil has achieved a little bit more than me! I am a few years younger and still have to learn a lot but it is nice to be compared.
From what I have heard, it is not good to be compared with Arsenal players! But really, it is pretty cool to be compared with such big players.
Eriksen, at 21 years of age, is right to reject such a comparison.
Ozil, in the context of a playmaker, is the complete product. He goes past players, has a lovely weight of pass, can spot runs others can’t and is comfortable both wide and in the centre.
More importantly, he has performed at the highest level. A tally of 14 goals in 48 caps for Germany is an excellent return at international level.
His La Liga title victory with Real Madrid, at a time when Barcelona—arguably the greatest passing side Europe has ever seen—were ruling Spain, is a fine achievement.
Eriksen is yet to prove he can perform at the same level. For Denmark he has largely underwhelmed, scoring four times in 39 appearances. League triumphs at Ajax are impressive, but the Eredivisie cannot compare to La Liga.
To be fair to the Spurs man, he is three years Ozil’s junior and now has the stage on which to hone his craft in the Premier League.
Clearly his sense of timing with the pass is excellent, as displayed by his assist for Sigurdsson’s first goal against Norwich.
However, the big-game mentality and ability to break down top defences are factors that truly separate the world-class creators from the pack.
Eriksen’s first real test will come on Sept. 28, when Spurs host Chelsea.