The top 5 greatest Danes of the Premier League Era
England take on Denmark this evening, with a place in the Euro 2020 final against Italy the prize for the victor. The Danes, turbocharged with memories of 1992, when they last overperformed in an international tournament in challenging circumstances, will be an awkward test for Gareth Southgate’s men. Not only are they a well-organised outfit, with plenty of individual talent, they are emotionally bonded by the traumatic events of the opening group game. Whether Christian Eriksen will be watching from the stands this evening, or the comfort of his living room, the fact that he’s watching at all is a minor miracle, and his teammates are determined to make sure there’s a happy end to this story.
In honor of Christian Eriksen, then, and his Scandinavian compadres, here’s a list of the finest Danes to ever play in the Premier League:
As good a place to start as any. Christian Eriksen spent seven seasons at Spurs, after joining from Ajax in 2013, for a hard-to-actually-believe £11m. As one part of Garth Crooks’ famous Beatles analogy—the group of exciting new players that Spurs blew the Gareth Bale money on—it wouldn’t be much of an exaggeration to say that Eriksen was the only true success story from that debacle.
For the entirety of his time in North London, Eriksen was Tottenham’s playmaker-in-chief. Under three different managers—AVB, Sherwood and Pochettino—the weight of creative responsibility was heaped on the gifted Dane. It’s no coincidence that Harry Kane’s multiple-season scoring hot streak coincided with Eriksen’s time at the club. At his best, the former-Ajax prodigy was a joy to watch. A magical first-touch, a passing range to make you giddy, and a thunderous long-range shot when the mood struck.
Manchester United’s purchase of Peter Schmeichel for £505,000 in 1991 was described by Alex Ferguson as ‘the bargain of the century’. It’s hard to argue with. As a bang-for-your-bucks deal, it’s perhaps only eclipsed by the arrival of a certain Frenchman in 1992 for just over £1m. The formidable Dane spent eight seasons at United, winning *deep breath* five FA Premier League titles, three FA Cups, one League Cup, one Champions League, four Charity Shields, and a European Super Cup. That, maths fans, is a very reasonable £37,ooo per trophy.
According the very best of australia online casinos, Schmeichel was known for his incredible shot-stopping ability, his absolute domination in one-on-one situations, excellent distribution (most-favoured was a length-of-the-pitch overarm power bowl which springboarded many a United attack) and his predilection for shouting at Gary Neville. The Dane was widely regarded as the world’s best goalkeeper for a large portion of his time in Manchester; along with Oliver Kahn, Edwin Van der Sar and Gianluca Pagliuca, the 1990s belonged to Peter Schmeichel.
A Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League winner with AC Milan, Aston Villa managed to tempt the Danish centre-back to the Midlands in 2004, for a paltry fee of £3m. While not winning anything in the way of silverware at Villa Park, he did manage to form one of the league’s finest partnerships with fellow Sandinavian defender Olof Mellberg and won the Supporters Player of the Year award in 2008.
His career was prematurely cut short at Villa, after a string of debilitating injuries; Laursen retired from the game entirely in 2009. Despite the frustrations of ongoing, chronic knee problems, the Dane was a much-loved player in his time at Villa Park. A technically gifted centre-back, with plenty of grit and physical attributes—the type that will always be popular with fans of slots online. Laursen was part of a terrific Martin O’Neill side that came very close to breaking up the Top Four monopoly of the mid-to-late 2000s.