Opinion: Will Christian Eriksen’s return to training cause a rift at Spurs?

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

In early June, Christian Eriksen outlined his desire to leave Tottenham to ‘try something new’ (Ekstra Bladet).

The Danish midfielder seemed destined for a dream move to Real Madrid following his comments (Daily Star). Fellow teammate Jan Vertonghen claimed that he was “hopeful” that Eriksen would stay at the Club (Independent). But it’s now mid-July, and Eriksen’s future is still in limbo.

More awkwardly enough, he is due to report to Tottenham training this week. It should be no secret to the rest of the playing group by now of Eriksen’s desire to depart the club. So it is now it is a matter of how the relationship between Eriksen and his teammates will be affected by the transfer situation.

Eriksen’s future had always been speculated upon due to his contract situation, but his comments made to Danish media outlet Ekstra Bladet prompted a vast media response discussing the Dane’s future.

Eriksen said: “in football, you do not know when a resolution will happen.” He claimed that he was hopeful that there would “be a resolution during the summer.”

But surely any football player would want transfer negotiations sorted before they are due to return to training at their current club for the upcoming season.

No official bids for the sale of Christian Eriksen have officially been made by any parties. The situation with Manchester United’s Paul Pogba is arguably one of the main contributing factors in delaying Eriksen’s transfer. Pogba has also claimed that he was also keen for a new challenge (Guardian) with Real Madrid heavily interested in the French superstar’s services.

So what now?

If Tottenham’s busy summer is to continue, they are almost destined to break their transfer fee record through the signing of Giovani Lo Celso. If they are to sign the likes of other players such as Nicolo Zaniolo too, then they might be quite reliant on the sale of Eriksen to fund their transfer targets.

There might not only be a rift between teammates, but also with coaching staff and the board at the Club. Eriksen’s early statements that indicated his desire to leave gave the club plenty of time to negotiate deals for their transfer targets and ultimately would have accelerated their efforts and negotiations with other clubs knowing that they could cash-in on Eriksen.

Ideally, Eriksen will need to renew his current contract to ensure he does not leave for free at the end of this season when his contract in North London expires. No doubt many clubs will be lining up for his signature if they know they can get him for nothing.

For his teammates, it may seem strange training and preparing for the season with Eriksen – knowing that he may not be around at the club for much longer. If it was you, would you want to give a player insight into your club’s goals and ambitions heading into the future knowing that he isn’t fully devoted to the next phase of Mauricio Pochettino’s project?

It’s an awkward and unique situation to be in.

SpursWeb Opinion:

Whilst it may become awkward in team conversations, I don’t believe Eriksen’s transfer situation will cause a rift between players.

The playing group has stuck by each other for a few seasons now, and have shown perseverance to get through any situation no matter how hard it may have been – which was reflected through their Champions League campaign last season. It won’t cause a rift between players, but it is an issue that needs to be addressed by the board and the coaching staff.

Ultimately, Eriksen’s return to training could rejuvenate the Dane’s desire to stay at the club. Then again, if his heart isn’t in it then the door should be shown to him. One who desires to play for Tottenham Hotspur should never play without their heart on their sleeve.

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