Christian Eriksen has proven to be an exceptional investment by Tottenham, having arrived from Ajax in 2013 for a reported £12million fee.
The Denmark international is set to feature for the 200th time in the Premier League against Crystal Palace on Wednesday, and he goes into that match with 58 assists to his name.
Only five players have set up more goals in their first 200 Premier League appearances, while Eriksen’s assist against Liverpool on Sunday saw him match David Beckham’s record of reaching double figures for goals created in four successive seasons in England’s top flight.
Despite that and his overall record at Spurs, supporters have become frustrated with Eriksen at times this term, a dynamic not helped by his apparent reluctance to sign a new contract amid reports linking him with Real Madrid.
Such transfer speculation would suggest Madrid rate him among the world’s elite creative players, but how does he compare to the Premier League’s best?
10 – Christian Eriksen is just the second player to assist 10+ Premier League goals in four successive seasons, after David Beckham between 1997-98 and 2000-01. Generosity. #LIVTOT
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 31, 2019
More assists than Hazard, but…
Eden Hazard is another Premier League star who has been strongly linked with Madrid, but Eriksen can claim to have a significantly better record in terms of setting up goals.
Hazard has laid on 50 in 238 Premier League games compared to Eriksen’s 58 in 199 outings, while the Dane’s record of 31.4 minutes per chance created is also better than that of the Chelsea attacker (32.9).
However, Hazard is a bigger threat in front of goal, scoring 82 times compared to Eriksen’s 46, while Juan Mata – by no means prolific with Chelsea or Manchester United – also has four more goals than the Spurs midfielder, albeit in 41 more appearances.
Nevertheless, Hazard is not the only one to have fewer assists than Eriksen, as Mesut Ozil (52), Mata (50) and Raheem Sterling (42) all trail in his wake.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) 25 February 2019
Distribution to be improved on
Although Eriksen certainly cannot be accused of being a poor passer of the ball, his contemporaries are generally more accurate, with the former Ajax youngster finding a team-mate 81.6 per cent of the time.
That is significantly lower than Mata (87.8), David Silva (87.3) and Ozil (87.1), while even Hazard – who would usually spend a large amount of time in the more crowded attacking third – has managed to keep 84.8 per cent of his passes on target.
Eriksen has averaged 57.3 passes every 90 minutes, more than Mata (56.4) and Hazard (53.9), but the best distributors are way ahead.
Cesc Fabregas played 77.3 passes per match during his 350 Premier League games, while Silva and Ozil average 70.5 and 67.4 respectively.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) 20 February 2019
Not among the better dribblers
As a playmaker, Eriksen is generally more likely to do damage with his passing than by skipping past several defenders.
However, the 27-year-old is technically gifted and more than capable of taking on his man, completing 44.6 per cent of his attempted dribbles.
He trails other fine players to have excelled in a similar role, though, with Hazard (62.8 per cent), Silva (62.4), Kevin De Bruyne (61.7), Fabregas (58.9) and Ozil (55.6) seemingly much more effective when attempting to evade opposing defenders.
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