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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

‘The best for me’: Winger explains Man United snub as he follows in Eriksen’s footsteps

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One of the brightest talents in Scandinavia is following in the footsteps of Christian Eriksen. But not with Premier League giants Manchester United.

Not yet, anyway. This summer, Christian Eriksen will celebrate the ten year anniversary of his move from Ajax to Tottenham Hotspur. The Manchester United veteran played the best football of his career in North London, and it was largely down to the lessons he learned at the famous Johan Cruyff Arena finishing school that he was afforded the opportunity to graduate from the Eredivisie and complete his PHD in playmaking across the Atlantic. 

Eriksen, a three-time Dutch league champion with Ajax, is one of a host of Scandinavian stars – alongside Jesper Gronkjaer, Brian Laudrup, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and co – who made his name at Ajax.

Lasse Abildgaard, then, should not be short of inspiration as he looks to continue the proud tradition of Danes donning the red and white of the Dutch giants.

Nottingham Forest v Manchester United - Premier League

Photo by Stewart Kendall/Sportsphoto/Allstar via Getty Images

Lasse Abildgaard chose Ajax over Manchester United

“It is of course great to be allowed to join such a club, and to be good enough for such a big club to believe in you,” teenager Abildgaard tells Tipsbladet.

“Every day you come in, there are expensive cars, you see the Ajax logo, there are (security) guards outside, there are a lot of training sessions…

“It’s just great to put on the Ajax training clothes every day.”

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Abildgaard joined John van’t Schip’s side from Silkeborg last summer. The talented winger admits that he had a trial with Man United back in 2023 too. But after discussing his future with the families of fellow Danes Kasper Dolberg and Esklid Dall – both of whom also arrived at Ajax from Scandinavia – there was one club which leapt off the page as Abildgaard weighed up his options.

“I heard about (Ajax’s) interest a long time ago. And then it was like just a process between the club and my family and my advisor about how it should go, and things like that,” he adds.

“I also went to trial training down there [United] to see what it was like, and we ended up making the decision that it was the best for me.” 

‘The best for me’

Should he make good on his obvious potential, there is no reason why Abildgaard cannot take the same route as Eriksen in the coming years.

Man United have taken a number of player son trial without signing them in recent years. Russian wonderkid Sergey Pinyaev, for instance, and Arsenal’s own Gabriel Martinelli.

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