Why Manchester United and Tottenham want to sign Christian Eriksen

Why Manchester United and Tottenham want to sign Christian Eriksen

Christian Eriksen is one of the hottest free agents on the market, with a host of Premier League clubs interested in signing him. It has been an incredibly emotional year for the midfielder after he collapsed on the pitch at Euro 2020. During his recovery, there were fears about his ability to resume his career. He managed to do that with Brentford and he has proven that he can still influence matches at the highest level. Now, he is in a powerful position with plenty of options to choose his next club from.

The Telegraph report that Manchester United have offered him a contract. Meanwhile, Tottenham and Newcastle United have been linked with his signing by other publications. At the age of 30, there will be different motivations at play for Eriksen.

Firstly, he will want to be playing at the highest level possible. If there is a chance to play in the Champions League, it would obviously appeal. However, it would need to come with guarantees of game time. Eriksen will believe that he is still good enough to play regularly and he won’t be happy to be a bit part player.

There is an obvious appeal about returning to Tottenham, his former club. He would get the chance to thrive in familiar surroundings and be able to link-up with his former Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte. After an initial struggle, he became an important player for Conte in Italy and had a key role to play in their 2021 title triumph. He will know the demands of playing in the system and therefore, the transition would be an easy one.

At Manchester United, it would be a brand new challenge under an exciting manager in Erik ten Hag. Eriksen was developed at Ajax, which should make him a great fit for the Dutchman’s style. Despite some struggles in recent years, United are still one of the biggest clubs in the world and the attraction of playing there is obvious. The departure of Paul Pogba means they will be looking to add creativity to their midfield options. Eriksen would be a great signing for them.

During his short period at Brentford, Eriksen made an immediate impact and emerged as one of the most influential players in the division. He averaged 2.11 shots and 5.08 shot creating actions per ninety minutes. The small sample size means that these may be inflated, but they underline the impact that he did make. He rated in the 97th and 99th percentile for these metrics when compared to other midfielders.

His creative numbers were off the charts, with an average of 0.35 expected assists per ninety minutes, again ranking him in the 99th percentile. To provide context, Kevin de Bruyne averaged 0.39. There is a minutes qualifier, as Eriksen was just shy of 1000, meaning a larger sample size might see some decrease in these numbers, but he would still be expected to be along the most creative in the league.

As a free agent signing, Eriksen would represent an excellent signing for any club in the world. He remains an elite creative midfielder and the hunger remains within. It will be interesting to see which club he chooses. Tottenham would be an emotional pick, while Manchester United would show his ambition. Newcastle shouldn’t be ruled out, as it would be an exciting project to get involved in. Regardless of his choice, it will be great to see him remain in the Premier League.

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