This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Christian Eriksen has been linked with a move to Manchester United.
The Daily Mail reported on Wednesday that the Tottenham Hotspur playmaker could become the subject of interest from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side if they are given encouragement to bid.
An offer of £70m, the report claims, could tempt Spurs to sell, particularly if they manage to sign Giovani Lo Celso from Real Betis. The latter could reportedly become the club’s record signing if he joins from the Liga outfit, surpassing the deal to sign midfielder Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon.
Eriksen, of course, outlined his intention to potentially take on a new challenge after the Champions League final.
It appeared, at the time, that he could join Real Madrid but that deal hasn’t happened. Indeed, there hasn’t been a single bid for the Denmark international, per reports.
A move to United, though, could do serious harm to Spurs’ hopes next season.
Of course, the north London club have finished above the Red Devils in three of the last four seasons. Spurs are playing in the Champions League next season; United finished sixth in 2018/19.
It feels like a step down for Eriksen – at best, it is a step sideways – yet one feels that there could be a temptation to cash in if a major offer is tabled.
His contract expires next summer and, in simple maths, £70m is a bit more than £0.
Yet a move to United could irrevocably improve the club. They don’t have a dedicated No.10 and seemingly have no desire to use Paul Pogba in the role.
He could instantly come in and transform the way the club attacks. As it is, they tend to utilise the flanks, with a mere 26% of their attacks coming through the middle, per WhoScored. 42% came on the left flank and 31% came down the right. Spurs’ numbers in 2018/19 were far more balanced: 37% on the left, 36% on the right and 27% through the middle.
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Eriksen is a player who can drift and he can make an impact from the flank but, primarily, the image fans tend to think of when they conjure him in their mind is him on the ball, facing down a defence from the number ten spot.
He can then play a pass and try to give the striker the opportunity to score.
If Spurs are desperate to rid themselves of Eriksen – one report claims chairman Daniel Levy phoned Real to gauge their interest – but strengthening a rival in the top-flight makes next to no sense.
If they have to take a hit on the fee they receive for Eriksen, purely to send him abroad, Spurs should do it.
Quite frankly, he is too good to be kept in the Premier League, the place where he can most hurt his current employers.