For well over a decade, he has been at the heart of all Liverpool’s achievements, but it seems that, as he approaches the twilight of his career, Steven Gerrard is showing signs that he’s not the force of old. As Brendan Rodgers looks to try and continue his remodelling of a capable if imbalanced side, a long-term replacement for the legendary midfielder may be on his mind.
Having missed out on the signature of Armenian goal-getter Henrik Mkhitaryan, who chose to join Bundesliga runners-up Borussia Dortmund, he may have set his sights a little further west for one of the Dutch top flight’s most promising stars. Christian Eriksen, the Denmark international who had been linked with a move to Dortmund, may be what Rodgers is looking for.
A lot to live up to?
Eriksen has recently been linked with a move to Anfield which could be worth somewhere in the region of £20m. Currently plying his trade with Ajax, there have been numerous rumours in the past few seasons about a move to one of the bigger leagues. Should a move to Liverpool materialise, a lot will be expected of him; but what could he bring?
To try and reach the stratospheric standards which have been set by Gerrard, Eriksen will have to prove himself as a box-to-box player, mucking in when the opposition are on the attack while scoring at least 10 goals a season. While he has the talent to do both, he will have to raise his game because the Premier League is perceived as being a far tougher competition than the Eredivisie.
Filling a void
At the still-tender age of 21, Eriksen has plenty of time to grow as a player, and would slot in seamlessly in the Gerrard role. In a midfield four alongside the likes of Philippe Coutinho, he would prosper, and would make a lopsided Liverpool side seem more balanced. Something else he has that may make him a Kop favourite is his free-kick ability.
When Gerrard eventually leaves, his talents from set pieces will be missed. However, should Eriksen take to the Premier League as quickly as many expect him to, don’t be surprised to see him lash the ball into the net from more than 20 yards on a regular basis.