F365 Says: Eriksen shows Spurs all the things they’re missing

F365 Says: Eriksen shows Spurs all the things they’re missing

by Emily Smith
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Date published: Sunday 24th April 2022 1:26 – Ian Watson

Reports suggest Spurs are interested in re-signing Christian Eriksen. Today, while pulling Brentford’s strings once more, the Dane showed why they would be daft not to…

Sometimes the answer is staring at you in the face. On Saturday for Tottenham, it was hugging them in the tunnel, snapping at their heels and passing through them at the Brentford Community Stadium.

Christian Eriksen would not solve all Spurs’ problems. No individual possibly could. But a return to his former club for the Denmark playmaker seems a no-brainer for everyone involved.

The 30-year-old appears set to move on from Brentford this summer after a half-season stint in west London that has exceeded everyone’s expectations – except perhaps those of his own. Most just longed to see Eriksen back on the pitch after his cardiac arrest at the European Championships. His intention seems to have been to prove himself as influential as ever.

Job done. Eriksen has lifted Brentford out of an alarming mid-season slump and into the battle for a top-half finish. He’s brought structure to their fraught-looking attack and a serenity to their play where chaos was threatening to undermine their fine start to their first season in the Premier League.

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Eriksen put it all on display against Spurs this evening, offering proof, if proof were needed, that this is an opportunity they would be daft to refuse.

Apparently, Eriksen wants to stay in London and would relish the chance to return to the club where he was a two-time Player of the Season. Antonio Conte has made little secret of his desire to work with Eriksen again following their stint together at Inter Milan, and the fact he comes for free would surely appeal to Daniel Levy’s baser instincts.

Spurs have failed to adequately replace Eriksen since he left for Inter in 2020 and here they have the opportunity to do so with the man himself. How they could have done with him today in wild berry and bolt rather than red and white.

Conte’s side, for the second game in succession, lacked all the things Eriksen brings. Brentford blocked the lanes into Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski, resulting in a stodgy performance that once more yielded no shots on target. It’s been 199 minutes since a Spurs player last troubled an opposition keeper.

With the front three shackled, Spurs could rarely look to their wing-backs. When they were allowed to get their heads up, passing to them, long or short, was beyond them – a dimension Eriksen would certainly offer.

With Conte so wedded to a system that places so much emphasis on its wing-backs, it’s a worry when neither is trusted by the manager. Emerson Royal continued to make the injured Matt Doherty look like the Irish Cafu in comparison, while Ryan Sessegnon, brought in today for Sergio Reguilon, was the first player hooked when Conte finally made a substitution in the 74th minute.

Still, the system did not change, the back three remained. And in his 3-4-3, those who think too deeply about these things at Spurs might ask Conte where Eriksen would fit.

He could play behind a front two, linking midfield and attack in a way Spurs seemed utterly incapable of doing so today. Against some opposition, he might also play in the engine room, partnered by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Rodrigo Bentancur or Oliver Skipp to pull strings from deeper.

Eriksen would give Conte options the manager obviously feels he doesn’t currently possess as well as the experience Spurs lack. Doherty is currently the only outfield player to have turned 30 in Tottenham’s squad, and while those planning for the long-term at the club may relish the absence of veterans, Conte will care little for that while his scope goes no further than next season.

Of course, there is interest from elsewhere. Newcastle are said to be extremely keen and would likely pay Eriksen a lot more than Levy might wish to. But Spurs, with Eriksen’s history and his wish to remain in the capital, hold all the cards. They would be fools not to use them.

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