Eriksen: I could have joined Chelsea

Ajax Amsterdam midfielder Christian Eriksen has revealed that he had turned down the opportunity to join Chelsea when he was a teenager.

Football News: Christian Eriksen

The Dane insisted that he has no regrets signing with a Dutch club as a youngster, a decision he made after realizing he would be handed better playing opportunities there than at the Blues.

"I always thought it would be better to go to Holland first, especially because of the position I play and the football I wanted to play," he told the Daily Mirror.

"Ajax have a tradition of good football and play 4-3-3, which suits me. They also spend lots of money on youth players with the aim of putting them in the first team."

Being aware of the pressure the top English clubs were under to perform, Erikson's decision to choose Ajax was both logical and easy.

"Top sides in England have to get into the Champions League every year so they are not going to buy a 17-year-old and put him straight in the first team." the midfielder said.

"They buy players who can play now. You might not get a game until you are 21. So why should you go there?"

Erikson went on trial at Chelsea during Jose Mourinho's reign, his first exposure to English football.

"It was a bit of a shock playing against Millwall. They kicked a little more and made crazy tackles but I wasn't injured when I returned to Denmark so I guess I did ok." he revealed.

Returning to England last year with the Danish national team to take on the Three Lions in a friendly, Erikson was one of Denmark's stars in that game, though the Danes' eventually lost by one goal.

"I liked playing against England because you had a 4-4-2 and there was space for me to go into between the defence and midfield," he shared.

"I had fun and decided to keep my own shirt as a memory of playing well rather than swapping."

Naturally, the Danish midfielder does not rule out the possibility of moving to a top English club one day, though he asserts that playing time remains his top priority.

"When it's time to leave Ajax, I'll try to go to a bigger team who do well in the Champions League every year and win trophies." Eriksen said.

"But I'd make sure it was somewhere where I wouldn't just sit on the bench. Right now, my mind is only focused on Ajax."

Eriksen will attempt to thwart English club Manchester United's first Europa League appearance since 1995, when the Red Devils play at the Amsterdam Arena later tonight [Thursday].

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