Opinion: Why a Christian Eriksen homecoming is a must for Tottenham

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Christian Eriksen Cristian Romero
Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images

As things continue to heat up in the transfer window, one name Tottenham fans are eager to see a return to North London is Christian Eriksen.

With his contract now expired at Brentford, Eriksen is officially a free agent and is reportedly intrigued by a return to his former club (Sky Sports).

The Dane’s history extends beyond just Tottenham and to manager Antonio Conte, as the Italian was in charge when Inter Milan signed the playmaker back in January 2020 (Sky Sports).

The two appeared to have a good relationship, combining to help Inter win their first title in 10 years as Eriksen played a crucial role in Conte’s 3-5-2 system (Transfermarkt).

The romantics among us have been shipping Eriksen for a return to Spurs since his arrival at Brentford in January, but stripping back the emotion, even from a purely footballing perspective a switch to North London makes sense.

Of course, owing to his tragic incident at Euro 2021, Eriksen has been through a lot in the past year, however, has excelled in his time at Brentford and looks like a perfect addition to our squad.

It’s no secret Spurs have lacked creativity at times, as out with Kane, Son, or Kulusevski the remainder of the team are often passengers when attacking.

This is something we must address this summer, with Eriksen looking like the ideal candidate to fill a much-needed gap in our arsenal.

Since arriving at Tottenham, Conte has favoured two central midfielders, and with Hoijberg, Bentancur, Skipp, and Bissouma already in the squad, Eriksen is unlikely to be a starter, but could still be a real asset.

He vastly differs from any of our current midfielders, profiling more as an attack-minded playermaker as opposed to the pragmatism of Skipp, Hoijberg and Bentancur and Bissouma.

Of midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues, Eriksen ranks in the top 1% for shot-creating actions, assists per 90, and non-penalty expected goals and assists, as well as being in the top 3% for shots per game (FB Ref).

The Dane’s 5.08 shot-creating actions per 90 are more than double that of Bentancur, Hoijberg, and Skipp, whilst his four league assists bring him level with the Uruguian despite playing four fewer games.

Eriksen’s 2.7 key passes per game leave him almost two clear of any of the Spurs trio, whilst his 5.5 long balls per 90 also mark a significant increase on Hoijberg’s 3.7 (Whoscored). 

Granted, his pass completion rate of just 74.4% is admittedly low, however, considering he often makes high-risk high-reward passes this can be overlooked as if successful, will create chances for the side.

This creativity is further reinforced by his underlying numbers, as he puts up an impressive 5.08 progressive carries and 6.23 progressive passes per game, demonstrating a good mix of individual and team-orientated ball progression.

As Spurs fans will remember, Eriksen is also a decent set-piece taker and would provide healthy competition for Son from dead-ball situations adding another string to his bow.

All in all, Eriksen still looks like an elite-level creative midfielder, demonstrating he still has what it takes to play at the top level in his stint at Brentford.

While it must be remembered these numbers have come from just 11 season appearances, it could be argued with a full pre-season under his belt, Eriksen’s fitness, output, and general game would only be improve.

As mentioned, with Conte favouring a midfield two, he wouldn’t necessarily start for Spurs, but in games such as Brighton and Brentford last season where we struggled for creativity, bringing a player like Eriksen off the bench could have changed the game and possibly even the result.

Naturally, the Dane has been the subject of interest from several clubs, and although it might feel like it this summer, it is rare for a player of his quality to be available on a free.

The biggest rival to Spurs is reportedly Manchester United, as the Red Devils have supposedly offered Eriksen a contract (The Athletic), however comparing us to United, we surely look the more lucrative choice.

The Dane is reported to favour a move to a London club, point to Tottenham; and has also stated his desire to play Champions League football again, 2-0 Spurs. 

Moreover, while both clubs are in transition, Spurs are certainly further through the process, as we appear to be moving in the right direction with Conte at the helm.

Now aged 30, Eriksen has a big decision on his hands, as given his age and heart condition this could be his last big contract, so he must choose wisely.

Spurs have shown ambition and drive this window, being proactive in uncharacteristically securing deals early on, laying down a marker for other clubs to take us seriously and making a change from the club Eriksen departed back in 2020 which is a welcomed shift. 

But ultimately, the ball is in Eriksen’s court, as with no parent club to negotiate a fee with he is in full control of his future.

Only he will know his preferences at this point, but until any announcements are made, Conte and Paratici must work hard to secure his signature, and give Eriksen the homecoming fans are crying out for.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Why he was rubbish in his last 18 months to two years at spurs. His corners were either never beat the first man or hit the other corner flag. His free kicks were rubbish he was just a pedestrian in the team. He would and should not get in the current team as all are better.

  2. Good article but saying that Spurs fans will remember that Eriksen is also a decent set-piece taker made me chuckle. Maybe in his early days, but later on we were exasperated by his awful corners not reaching the first attacker, his free kicks failing and even in rare cases near the end, his trickling penalties! Would still take him though!

  3. this will be a huge mistake bringing him back. He wanted to leave so stay gone.
    Im so fed up of people saying he is a great player rubbish he is an avg lazy player who occasionally plays a decent pass he can not beat the 1st man taking a corner & sometimes scores great goals from free kick sadly most of them were for Denmark. Bringing him back is a backwards move so No thank you!

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