Spurs' Christian Eriksen: Dennis Bergkamp a big influence on my career
Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen has told Sky Sports he owes his breakthrough in senior football to Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp.
Bergkamp spent more than a decade at Arsenal, retiring in 2006 before returning to his former club Ajax as assistant manager -- around the same time a teenage Eriksen had joined them.
Denmark international Eriksen, speaking ahead of Saturday's North London derby at the Emirates Stadium, said Bergkamp had played a big part in his development in Amsterdam.
"I felt I was good in Denmark, but I wasn't that good when I arrived at Ajax," he said.
"In my first year at Ajax, we had some sessions with Dennis Bergkamp and Wim Jonk.
"We did this passing drill with a striker from the team. We worked on certain movements, learning how to measure his runs and then passing the ball to exactly the right place at exactly the right moment.
"Even then, you could always see Dennis's charisma and confidence on the ball. He always knew how to take his first touch and where the ball needed to end up afterwards.
"I learned a lot from watching him and working with him. It helped me when I made it through to the first team."
Eriksen left Ajax to join Spurs in 2013 and was managed by both Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood in his first season.
He said the continuity brought by current manager Mauricio Pochettino, appointed in May 2014, had been a major part of the club's recent success.
"He has given stability not only to me but to the whole club," Eriksen added.
"That's the main thing for a player. You feel comfortable, you feel aware of everything around you and you don't think about anything other than football when you're on the pitch.
"All the players have long-term contracts. They feel safe being here. It's why you commit your future to a place like this."
Eriksen has only missed five of 125 league games under Pochettino and said: "He gives his players a lot of confidence and he trusts to let them play.
"I have played a lot of games under the manager now. He knows what I'm good for and what I'm not good for, but he trusts me completely.
"You feel that trust and it makes you want to do everything for him."
Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.