Football

Where would Christian Eriksen fit in at Manchester United?

Christian Eriksen has been in sensational form this season. The Dane has been crucial for Brentford since joining in January.

But unfortunately for the Bees, his deal will end this summer. They will, of course, do all they can to extend that deal. But with many top clubs showing an interest, it could prove to be very difficult.

Newcastle may well make a big-money bid. Former club Tottenham Hotspur could also enter the fray. But another club reportedly showing an interest is Manchester United. 

Erik ten Hag has a huge job on his hands when he takes over at Old Trafford. That could be made a lot easier with the Danish international in his squad.

Eriksen

Where would Eriksen fit in at Man Utd?

Eriksen played just over half an hour on his Brentford debut, coming on as a substitute against Newcastle. Since then, he’s played every minute possible, excluding the Leicester match which he missed through COVID-19.

Such a run of minutes shows just how crucial he has been for the Bees. And whether it be part of Thomas Frank’s 4-3-3 or 5-3-2, the Dane has found himself in his favoured central midfield role. Moreover, he has found a home on the left side of that midfield three.

That could be exactly where Ten Hag would play him. The manager has settled on that 4-3-3 formation at Ajax. And he looks set to bring that system to Old Trafford.

With Paul Pogba seemingly on the move, a central midfielder may be a priority this summer. Eriksen could fill that gap perfectly. Bruno Fernandes meanwhile would undoubtedly occupy another of the midfield slots.

Both are certainly talented playmakers. But both will no doubt need a hard-working midfielder to put in a defensive shift alongside them. That player could slot into the middle of the midfield three.

Eriksen’s Brentford teammate Christian Norgaard has been that man for the Bees. He sits top of the Premier League charts for tackles this season with 109. Ten Hag may have to factor this in when looking at Eriksen.

What can the midfielder bring to Old Trafford?

What Eriksen can certainly bring, however, is creativity. His dead-ball ability is well-known throughout the world of football. But he is also special with the ball at his feet in normal play. The Dane has one goal and four assists in his 10 matches for Brentford.

There is, of course, a more personal side of the story. Both Eriksen and Ten Hag have spent a considerable amount of their careers at Ajax. The midfielder was at the Dutch side from 2010 to 2013. That was after a couple of years in the club’s famous academy.

It’s clear then that he is fully aware of the style and tactics necessary to play the Ajax way of football. Ten Hag will need someone with exactly those traits in his early moments as boss.

One huge issue, however, may be Man Utd’s lack of Champions League involvement. Eriksen reportedly wants to be playing in Europe’s top competition. And that is not possible with the Red Devils at this moment in time.

About the author

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Peter Lynch

Sports Journalism graduate from the University of Stirling, huge Liverpool and Northern Ireland fan, currently working as a freelancer.

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