Christian Eriksen believes the arrival of Victor Wanyama at Tottenham Hotspur has had a liberating effect on his game, as he targeted an FA Cup quarter-final win at home to Millwall on Sunday and glory in the competition.
Wanyama signed for a bargain £11m from Southampton last summer and has established himself as the midfield shield in Mauricio Pochettino’s formation, whether the manager plays with a back four or a back three.
His partnership with Mousa Dembélé, who is considered within the club to be the team’s undisputed star, has provided balance and a platform for the creative talents further ahead, such as Eriksen, who has the joint-most assists in the Premier League, together with Gylfi Sigurdsson. “Victor has given us a bit of stability,” Eriksen says.
“It is not easy to get past him. As a player, it makes me free to do my thing and go forward and I know there is someone there to cover me if I lose the ball.
“I think the team has a pretty good balance. When we don’t have the ball, we know where we need to be and how to help each other out. We have been doing that very well. If somebody is in trouble, you help them. Whether it is at left-back, right-back or centre midfield.”
Eriksen, who covers more ground than any other Tottenham player, according to Opta, says the team have matured since last season, when they imploded in the final four matches, failing to finish above Arsenal as a result. Like everybody else at the club, he knows a trophy would be the most tangible sign of progress.
“Everybody has the feeling we want to win something and we know the FA Cup is a true route to a trophy,” Eriksen says. “We have shown everyone we are capable of beating the best and being part of the best group. We have played together for a few years now and we know how we need to play. We are more mature.”