December 6 2013 Latest news:
By Ben Pearce, Tottenham correspondent
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Christian Eriksen has revealed that his transfer to Tottenham took just four days from the first contact to his medical, offering an interesting insight into Tottenham’s recruitment drive.
At the request of Andre Villas-Boas, Spurs brought in a new sporting director in Franco Baldini at the start of the summer, and the well-connected Italian has been hailed as a key figure in the club’s transfer business.
The Lilywhites signed seven international players, including a particularly busy day when Vlad Chiriches, Erik Lamela and Eriksen were all unveiled on Friday August 30.
Now Eriksen has lifted the lid on the rapid discussions that took place that very week – and the former Ajax midfielder says Spurs’ apparent determination to secure his signature was a persuasive factor in his decision to move to north London.
“I talked a little bit with the manager but I had more to do with the chairman [Daniel Levy] and the director, Baldini,” said Eriksen. “They were the guys who really had the right words.
“The first contact was with my agent and I think they talked and discussed all the things they normally do. Then afterwards my agent talked to me and I said, ‘Go on, I really want to hear what they have got to say’.
“The day after that he [my agent] was here to look around and see everything and talk with the big men. Then the day after, they went to Amsterdam to negotiate with Ajax. The next day, Thursday, I was here for a medical. It went really quickly - just four days.
“It really impressed me that they wanted it so badly and wanted to do it so quickly. For me, also, it was easier to do it the week before the window closed rather than just in one day.
“I also talked a lot with Jan Vertonghen [who also swapped Ajax for Spurs last summer] and texted him a few times, and he had a big role.
“When I talked to my agent, it just felt right - the things they said. When it came to looking around [the club] it just felt even more right and it was pretty easy for me to say yes.”
Eriksen says talk of interest from Liverpool was “just rumours” with “nothing really concrete” – and he has high hopes for Tottenham’s new squad.
While his manager is playing down any mention of the title at this early stage, his latest signing is targeting the top of the table.
“I think, first and foremost, everybody wants to be in the Champions League next season, for sure. Then we have, of course, to become champions,” said Eriksen. “That is why we spent so much money on good players. That is just the sort of thing I want to be part of.
“How do I see Tottenham’s title chances? It looks really good. It’s different - we are in a new squad and still have to learn about everything and everybody - but we have had a good beginning and it’s pretty easy to play with such good players.
“When the players are as good as they are, it is pretty easy for me to learn a lot from them already and know how they play. Of course, we still need to find some stuff out but I thought it looked pretty good against Norwich.”
That was certainly true of Eriksen, who enjoyed a dream debut at White Hart Lane, playing a big role in both of Spurs’ goals and receiving a standing ovation when he was substituted, before picking up the man of the match award.
“Of course, everybody has thought about how difficult it can be [adapting to the Premier League],” he said. “Some players are booed in the first games and then they are good. Hopefully the fans will not do that to me! But there will be mistakes. I am 21 years old but I hope I will make as few mistakes as possible.”
Tottenham’s victory left them second in the league at the end of the weekend, just behind their arch-rivals Arsenal.
“We will have to turn that around for a start!” said Eriksen. “I also come from a club where the rivalry was very big, with Feyenoord. I wasn’t there when we played Arsenal two weeks ago but I am excited about the home game.”
The Gunners also emerged victorious on Saturday – largely thanks to their own new playmaker, Mesut Ozil, who had a hand in all three of the goals in the 3-1 victory at Sunderland.
Given Eriksen’s immediate impact for Spurs in north London, comparisons are already been drawn between the pair.
The Dane responded: “I think he [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. Although, from what I have heard, it is not good to be compared with Arsenal players, I think? Really though, it is pretty cool to be compared with such big players.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs