Christian Eriksen was always likely to be the standout talent when Ireland and Denmark were drawn together in the World Cup qualification play-off. On Tuesday night he proved exactly why with a hat-trick of goals.
Harry Kane is loved by Spurs fans because he’s a Spurs fan and come through the academy, and the goals help a little too. Dele Alli is loved because he cost a lot less than Mesut Ozil, and he’s quite good.
Those two, along with the Spurs defence, are often held up as the best players in a side that Mauricio Pochettino has turned from top four challengers to genuine title contenders. But probably the most underrated of Tottenham’s charges is Christian Eriksen.
Eriksen has become one of Spurs most important players. Image: PA
Before you start writing in, obviously Eriksen is pretty well rated but you have to wonder if he’s not overlooked outside of Spurs fans. After all this is a player who cost just £11 million, pennies today but hardly breaking the bank in 2013 either.
Whilst Spurs fans might love him there’s one set of fans who will not be in love with the Dane and that is Ireland fans.
On Tuesday night they watched their country take on Denmark in a World Cup qualification play-off and Shane Duffy gave Martin O’Neill’s side the lead but Eriksen soon put an end to any optimism with two top class strikes:
A hat-trick of real beauty for Eriksen. Credit: Sky Sports
It was actually a Christie own goal that had put the Danes level on the night, but ahead on goal difference, before Eriksen’s hat-trick took the game completely and utterly away from Ireland.
To really rub salt in the wound the Irish conceded a fifth goal to Nicklas Bendtner with the Arsneal legend bagging from the penalty spot.
It’s a sad ending to their attempts to qualify for the World Cup in Russia and a stark contrast to the scenes that greeted their win over Wales last month that put them in the play-off.
Eriksen has his chance to shine on football’s biggest stage next summer.