Christian Eriksen was always an excellent student
Christian Eriksen hasn't stopped running since his parents, both football coaches, let him take part in a game with a group of four-year-olds. The Tottenham midfielder was only two. And it's not so much that he likes running, he just wants the ball. "If' you're clever enough, you don't need to run that much," he says.
Eriksen's development has come through three stages of stability, that feeling he strived for wherever he went, to make him happy and help him improve. After shining in Denmark he went to Ajax, because he knew that they would give his brain tempo, turn it into a state-of-the-art computer. Throughout most of his time in Holland he worked under Frank de Boer and Morten Olsen with the national team. And the sheen has come with Pochettino, with whom he has learned to dominate games, discover the advantages of running and running, pressing, being more aggressive. He has also become stronger and burned fat because, discreetly, he is among Tottenham's most disciplined players. Quietly, he has become one of the most creative forces, the one that can unlock defenses, in the Premier League. He's not going to dodge and weave through 20 players, but he will, like his idol Andrés Iniesta, find that gap or touch to split a defense wide open.
At 26 he is reaching his peak, two years after signing a new deal that takes him up to the summer of 2020. He gives Spurs rhythm, presses without fear, scores and assists, and his presence has become so influential that he was voted the Fans' Player of the Season last year... despite Kane's 35 goals. Since his arrival in 2013, only Özil has provided more assists. Over the past two seasons, across Europe's top five leagues only Kevin De Bruyne and Neymar have created more goals. Erikson is the player that adds that little touch of magic.