At just 18 years of age, Christian Eriksen is the youngest member of the Danish squad at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. However, anyone thinking the attacking midfielder is merely travelling to the Rainbow Nation for the ride would be grossly mistaken.
Eriksen was just 16 when he was snapped up by renowned talent-spotters Ajax Amsterdam, where he soon drew comparisons with UEFA Champions League winner Wesley Sneijder, who also began his career with the Dutch giants.
Eriksen's greatest strength is undoubtedly his vision. Despite his tender years, he recognises match situations quicker than most players almost twice his age. Furthermore, he is two-footed, technically superb and surprisingly versatile. Not only does he create goals, he also pops up with his own fair share too.
Several top clubs from around Europe, including the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal, are already said to have put their feelers out for the Danish youngster, though it seems Eriksen is happy to continue his development in Amsterdam for the time being.
After making over 30 appearances for his country's national youth teams, Eriksen was voted U-17 Danish Player of the Year in 2008. The 18-year-old got his break in the senior squad when a number of injuries to key players such as Jesper Gronkjaer and Martin Jorgensen led to his inclusion for a friendly match against Austria.
While Eriksen faces a tough job forcing some of the more established players out of the starting 11 in South Africa, coach Olsen will be glad to know he can rely upon the young midfielder to inject some quality from the bench.