Christian Eriksen sets his sights on Arsenal star Mesut Ozil as he targets the Premier League title for Tottenham

The former Ajax midfielder made an eye catching debut against Norwich

The season is barely a month old but already the north London rivalry is raging. Arsenal emerged 1-0 victors from an early Premier League derby thanks to an Olivier Giroud goal, but since both sides have brought in news players to strengthen their sides – in Mesut Ozil for Arsenal and Christian Eriksen for Spurs – and the two clubs sit second and third in the standings.

Both made their impact in the English top flight felt in the weekend’s matches. Ozil showed a lovely touch after a run in behind the Sunderland defence, before crossing for Giroud to continue his rich vein of form of scoring in every league game so far this season.

Eriksen meanwhile was busy displaying his undoubted talent at White Hart Lane, where he provided a lovely assist for Gyylfi Sigurddson to score his first of two goals that saw Spurs ease home against Norwich.

But how do the pair compare? Can the 21-year-old Dane be used in the same sentence as the 24-year-old German yet?

“I think he has achieved a little bit more than me,” admitted a humble Eriksen, in his first interview since arriving from childhood club Ajax in the summer for £11.5m.

“I am a few years younger and still have to learn a lot. It is nice to be compared, but from what I have heard it is not good to be compared with Arsenal players! But really, it is pretty cool to be compared with such big players.”

Eriksen will have to wait until March 15 for his first taste of the north London derby, having missed the Emirates meeting, but he already has eyes on being the dominant “No 10” – Ozil wears 11 and Eriksen 23 but both play just behind the striker – in north London.

Ozil has been at the top of European football for a while now though despite his tender age, wowing fans in both Germany and Spain before his move to England.

Eriksen has so far conquered the Eredivisie, and although the Dutch league comes with far less prestige than the Bundesliga, La Liga or the Premier League, it takes a special player to force his way into the Ajax side at just 18-years-old.

“I never got to train with the likes of Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart but I am from the club where they were,” explains Eriksen.

“I am not Dutch, but I am from a club where they both played with the same style.

“They’ve had really big success when they left Ajax so I hope I can achieve the same.”

Ozil was another to enjoy a successful debut on Saturday Ozil was another to enjoy a successful debut on Saturday  

Eriksen was linked with a move to Manchester United not so long ago, with Sir Alex Ferguson believed to be keeping an eye on the then-teenager, and getting a closer look when United took on Ajax in the 2011-12 Europa League.

However, Eriksen chose to move to Spurs after the United interest appeared to fade away, and in a summer where manager Andre Villas-Boas spent over £100m – due to the £86m received for Gareth Bale – the fee for Eriksen was relatively remote for such a promising young player.

“Why did I come to Spurs? It just felt right,” said Eriksen.

“I talked a little bit with the manager — but I had more to do with the chairman (Daniel) Levy and the director (Franco) Baldini. They were the guys who really had the right words.

“The things they said and when it came to looking around it just felt right and it was pretty easy for me to say yes.

“I also talked a lot with (former Ajax team-mate) Jan Vertonghen and texted him a few times so he had a big role.”

But after 18 years of finishing behind their fierce rivals, Eriksen knows they must finally beat Arsenal in the league this season, while also ensuring they qualify for the Champions League.

“I think everybody, first and foremost, wants to be in the Champions League next season, for sure,” he said. “Then we have, of course, to become champions. That is why he spent so much money on good players. That is just the sort of thing I want to be part of.

“I think our title chances are really good. We have had a good beginning and it is pretty easy to play with such good players.

“Arsenal are above us in the league at the moment, so we will have to turn that around for a start.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Sport
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
Sport
Billy Twelvetrees will start for England against Australia tomorrow with Owen Farrell dropping to the bench
rugbyEngland need a victory against Australia today
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books
Sport
Tyson Fury poses outside the Imperial War Museum in south London ahead of his fight against Dereck Chisora
All British heavyweight clash gets underway on Saturday night
News
i100 Charity collates series of videos that show acts of kindness to animals
Arts and Entertainment
One of the installations in the Reiner Ruthenbeck exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery
artCritics defend Reiner Ruthenbeck's 'Overturned Furniture'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game