De Boer urges Eriksen stay
Ajax coach Frank de Boer has advised reported Manchester United target Christian Eriksen to stay in Holland for another five years.
Last Updated: 15/02/12 4:33pm
Ajax coach Frank de Boer has advised reported Manchester United target Christian Eriksen to stay in Holland for another five years to become a more 'stable player'.
Denmark playmaker Eriksen will go up against United when Ajax host the Premier League giants in the Europa League on Thursday night.
Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson has already said he is looking forward to watching the youngster in action in the first leg of the last 32 tie.
United are one of several European heavyweights thought to be chasing the Dane and De Boer accepts the Amsterdam ArenA clash offers another chance for him to shine.
However, the Ajax boss believes spending another five years in the Eredivisie is the best option for Eriksen, who celebrated his 20th birthday on Tuesday.
"Christian is a smart kid," he said.
"Of course maybe he will play for a big team like Manchester United in the future. But I think he wants to show what he is capable of in this kind of team.
"It would be better for him to stay until he was 25 because you learn a lot in the Netherlands.
"If you leave afterwards you are a more stable player and ready to play in the big leagues."
De Boer admits it is now a fact of life that Dutch clubs must satisfy themselves with landing one-off blows on Europe's elite ahead of Thursday's encounter.
Four-time European Cup winners and one of only three clubs - Juventus and Bayern Munich are the others - to win the trio of major UEFA club competitions, Ajax remain one of the game's most famous names.
However, it is 17 years since their last European triumph and Ajax face United knowing it is likely to be a long time before they repeat it such is the vast disparity in income between clubs in Holland and those in the big five nations.
The Dutch TV contract is a tenth of the £1billion plus deal negotiated by the Premier League, a figure that is only set to increase as the years go on.
Ajax's turnover of £100million is a third of United's, leading to the almost inevitable exit of all their top players even though they remain the 16th best-supported team in Europe.
"You just have to look at the facts, including the difference in turnover between the two clubs and the revenue from TV contracts," said De Boer.
"It is very big and we lose players to big leagues, so it is up to us to make sure there is a surprise every now and then."