How Christian Eriksen was made at Ajax: From six months to fix ‘terrible’ running to hours of shooting practice as he faces former side for first time as one of the world’s best midfielders

With no Harry Kane and no Son Heung-min on the pitch, there will be no player that Ajax will fear more when they face Spurs than Christian Eriksen. Ironically, it was his time in Amsterdam that made him the footballer he is today.

The 27-year-old is on the shopping lists of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United for the summer. With good reason too — there are few central midfielders in the world on his level.

But back in 2008, Ajax spent €1m on the 16-year-old Eriksen, beating Chelsea and Barcelona to the punch. That fee that was split between his first clubs, OB and Middlefart, who built a new pitch with their share.

Without the move and his five years at Ajax, Eriksen might not have built the same career.

When Eriksen arrived at Ajax’s De Toekomst training ground, there were fundamental problems with his game.

He needed crucial intervention from Ajax youth coach Ruben Jongkind.

Jongkind’s background was in track and field and he spotted an issue — Eriksen did not run correctly.

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