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Man Utd: Christian Eriksen was Denmark’s bright spark at World Cup

Manchester United have had their fair share of misdealings concerning transfer activity across recent years, but one card that was excellently dealt was the acquisition of Christian Eriksen. 

Signing on a free transfer this summer after Inter Milan terminated his contract last season – a consequence of his detrimental cardiac arrest at the 2020 European Championship – Eriksen arrived back in the Premier League and picked up where he left off. 

Slotting into the playmaking role at United, the Danish “genius” – in the words of analyst Statman Dave – has proved a shrewd addition, scoring one goal and providing six assists from the centre of the park across 20 appearances, as per Transfermarkt, pulling the strings and allowing offensive outlets to thrive, finding pockets of space and reading the game like a scholar.

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Returning to the major international stage with Denmark for the World Cup in Qatar, the national team were expected to emulate the success that saw them reach the semi-final of the 2020 Euros, with their fluid gel of players looking to forge their path into the latter stage of the competition. 

It wasn’t to be, and the European nation crashed out, failing to win a match in the group phase, but the 30-year-old Eriksen continued to remind the world of his worth with a triad of excellent performances, rallying all of his experience and footballing intellect to attempt to muster up goals for his side.

Recording an average rating of 7.27, as per Sofascore, Eriksen excelled with his creative role, starting each match and recording a 90% pass accuracy, creating 3.3 key passes per match and offering direct firepower with 1.7 shots per outing. 

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Eriksen was tenacious and dogged, covering vast amounts of space and trying to instigate positive transitions, but was ultimately let down by the static, lacklustre play of his team.

If it was ever in doubt, it is abundantly clear that the former Tottenham Hotspur maestro is still very much at the top of his game, albeit occupying a deeper slot than he used to.

As per FBref, the £170k-per-week ace ranks within the top 1% for assists per 90, when compared to positional peers across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year, also within the top 12% for progressive passes and the top 3% for shot-creating actions. 

He might not have been able to ride the wave and lead his nation to success, but Eriksen can indeed hold his head high having risen from depths most footballers could never imagine, and he will continue to flourish for a Man Utd side on the rise.