After much negotiating, Tottenham player Christian Eriksen has finally signed a new four-year contract at the club. The Denmark international is understood to have increased his base salary from £35,000 to £70,000 per week, which will make him one of the club’s top earners. Although Eriksen still had two years left on his initial contract, him extending his contract will come as a relief to many.
Eriksen has been in negotiations with Tottenham since March. While there hasn’t been any particularly unprofessional behaviour, like in the case of Raheem Sterling at Liverpool back in 2015, this has been a mini-saga of sorts, merely because the resolution of this matter took months. Clearly, this also affected the player’s form as he hasn’t fared well in the opening three games for the side. Notably, Pochettino expressed his unhappiness with the Danish playmaker in the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, which was his 100th league appearance for Spurs, and he wasn’t up to the mark throughout the time he was on the pitch.
While Pochettino did claim that Eriksen hasn’t particularly been affected by the incident, it isn’t difficult to understand that such an impasse could result in a player’s performances being affected. There are already positive signs. Eriksen scored a lovely goal over the international break against Armenia. Things look encouraging for fans once again.
Eriksen has undoubtedly been one of the best and most consistent players for Spurs since he moved to the club from Ajax. In 2013/14, he was surrounded by very average players, and his seven goals and eight assists in the league were crucial for Spurs to finish in a respectable spot. In 2014/15, he got off to a slow start but was instrumental to the club’s good form during October, November, and December. He finished the season with ten goals and two assists. Those goals often included some sumptuous late winners, with Eriksen single-handedly responsible for a lot of points. His average end to the season was probably because of the fatigue of carrying the entire team through most of the season. Last season was statistically his best. He scored six goals and grabbed 13 assists and was incredibly important for Tottenham’s title charge. He was only second behind Ozil regarding the creation of chances, was undoubtedly one of Spurs’ smartest pressers and one who fit in Pochettino’s system so seamlessly.
Perhaps overlooking his contribution and value to the team is easy in recent times because Pochettino has made the entire team work to his style, and the positive result is showing in some players. Erik Lamela now tracks back and is constantly seen working hard. The same can be said about Danny Rose and Kyle Walker who are always running up and down the flanks. While this is great for Tottenham as a team, this is conceivably why Eriksen’s contribution over the last three season has gone a little under the radar.
He’s an instrumental member of the Tottenham side and losing the 24-year-old could have severely weakened the Spurs unit. He is also a man with a terrific attitude, one who has been a loyal servant of the club in his three-year stint.
Pochettino of course, knows that. Much like Klopp, the former Southampton boss favours a method which requires the side to work hard and continuously press. It is a high-octane system, and Eriksen has shown he works in such a system. He covers a lot of ground throughout the game. His intelligent runs create space for others, and he dictates the tempo from the middle. While the likes of Lamela, Dele Alli and new signing Moussa Sissoko can impose the opponent and the game with their physicality, there is no doubt that Eriksen’s primary strength is his intelligence. Spurs have scored just three goals in the opening three fixtures, won one game and drawn twice, and they look devoid of creativity with Eriksen looking out of sorts.
Credit should also go to Spurs for being able to resolve this issue and being able to keep one of their best players at the club. Juventus and PSG were eyeing the 24-year-old’s situation at White Hart Lane, and both these clubs have the ability to satisfy Eriksen’s wages comfortably.
This new contract shows the player believes Pochettino’s long-term project. Last season, Spurs came very close to winning the title. While that was down to their rivals performing below the par, it is now time for Spurs to show their competitiveness by doing the same with their rivals also strengthened. There is also Champions League to focus on.
With the contract negotiations done and dusted, Eriksen should now be focused and ready to contribute significantly. Spurs have 5 points on the table in the first three games, not a bad output, but they now need to accelerate this and ensure the favourable line of fixture sees them get victories in their quest to finish in the top 4, two seasons in a row. For Eriksen, a playmaker and a goalscorer, the aim should be to complete this season in double figures for goals and assists.