Christian Eriksen has been absent from the side since his ankle injury back on January 28th. That was a United win over Reading in the FA cup, a game in which the fat Andy Carroll put in a horror tackle on the Dane. The result was a break up of United’s best midfield trio in over a decade.
Bruno Fernandes, Casemiro and Eriksen have all started 18 games together this season. Of those 18 matches, United have won 16 and drawn 2. There is no question that when everyone is available for selection, this is Eric ten Hag’s preferred midfield trio. But, not many seem to realize just how important Eriksen is to this teams success.
Everyone knows Eriksen is a good player but it seems he doesn’t get the praise that players like Casemiro have received this campaign. People need to know why Eriksen is just so damn good. This is a man who made his first start back form injury on a moments notice after Sabitzer went down in his pre match warm up. Eriksen proceeded to be vital to United’s 2-0 win over Forest in the League.
Christian Eriksen just exudes calm when he gathers the ball in any position. His composure is next level and I’m not sure any other player can match it. He’s always been this way too. At just 17 years of age when playing for Ajax in January of 2010, Eriksen received his first senior start. Martin Jol, then Ajax manager, said:
“It was as if Christian had no emotions. He looked right at me and said, ‘Alright. I’ll play.’ Usually, boys that age would be worried or overthinking it, but Christian wasn’t like that.” -Martin JolRetrieved from ‘The King of Denmark’ by Maximillian Schmeckel and Niklas Koing from Goal.com
From day 1 Christian Eriksen has been a calm, cool and collected individual. In fact, his advanced stats actually back this up. According to Soccerment.com, Christian Eriksen ranks 4th in the EPL in expected threats form carries. The Dane also missed several matches between January and April, so his ranking could’ve been even higher.
This is the type of player you don’t just want but need in a winning midfield. When United players find themselves under pressure they’ll often look for Eriksen or Casemiro. But, what Eriksen has that Casemiro doesn’t is his insane passing ability and creativity.
Christian Eriksen is literally known for his passing. The King of Denmark is known as a midfield maestro. So there’s no need to explain just how good Eriksen is at passing the football, but it does need to be mentioned.
Eriksen has typically started in the 10 role or out to the left, but he’ll typically drift inside. For both Ajax and Tottenham he was a consistent playmaker with not just assists but also goals. In 3 seasons for Ajax, Eriksen totaled 25 goals and 50 assists. He was integral to their 3 consecutive Erdevise titles in that time. Shortly thereafter Tottenham hotspur bought the now Danish international.
He would go on to display is world class footballing skills in the biggest league competition in the world. Tottenham enjoyed their greatest periods of success with Eriksen in the side. Mauricio Pochettino certainly played a role in that but Eriksen was the potion that made the midfield tick. And, if we examine both Pochettino and Eriksen’s careers post his Tottenham departure; you will see that Eriksen has enjoyed much more success than his old gaffer.
Italy, Tragedy & Brentford
The 2020 EPL season was full of speculation surrounding the Danish midfielder. He would go on to leave Tottenham for Inter Milan in the January transfer window. After arriving in Italy he enjoyed a mixture of success. After the 2020 calendar year it was rumored Eriksen was unsettled and leaving the club. But, after scoring a sensational free kick to keep Inter in the Copa Italia he saw himself become a regular.
But at the 2020 (2021) European Championships, Christian Eriksen experienced a cardiac arrest on the pitch. It was their first group stage match against Finland and it occurred in the 42nd minute. Fortunately, thanks to a quick medical response, Eriksen was stabilized and experienced a full recovery. Eriksen was then outfitted with an ICD (defibrillator) which meant he could no longer play football in Italy due to their laws. Eriksen was released by Inter under mutual agreement.
In January of 2022 Eriksen signed for Brentford and played just that latter half of the season. By the end of it, Eriksen had the 3rd most created chances in the league.
This player has taken a true journeyman’s path through football and experienced everything from immense success to literal tragedy. All the while and to this day he has remained and is the epitome of calm. After his cardiac arrest, Eriksen came back the player he always was.
Christian Eriksen is an absolute DAWG!
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