Christian Eriksen says Dennis Bergkamp played an important part in his development at Ajax.
Bergkamp is currently assistant manager at the Dutch club, and has been since 2011. Which means that between 2011 and 2013, he was helping to mentor Tottenham’s star midfielder, reports Football 365.
Eriksen told Sky Sports that he could see Bergkamp’s class from their first sessions together, saying: “In my first year at Ajax we had some sessions with Dennis Bergkamp and Wim Jonk.
“Even then, you could always see Dennis’ charisma and confidence on the ball. He always knew how to take his first touch and where the ball needed to end up afterwards. I learned a lot from watching him and working with him. It helped me when I made it through to the first team.”
Unfortunately, it seems Bergkamp has joined Patrick Vieira and Mikel Arteta in going from leading Arsenal to trophies, to helping out their rivals.
The Gunners now have to face a Bergkamp-inspired Eriksen when Spurs visit the Emirates on Saturday. Although, unlike Vieira and Arteta, the Dutch forward didn’t know he was helping a rival team’s player at the time!
Bergkamp was known for his first touch and vision when he was still playing with the Gunners. In the 10 years he spent with the club, that never really went away, even by the time of his eventual retirement at 37.
So hearing from Eriksen that the former Gunners still had those attributes half a decade later shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Hopefully one day the Arsenal legend with a statue outside the Emirates Stadium can return to help our young players out in the same way.