This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Tottenham Hotspur have been urged to ignore Christian Eriksen for the rest of the season by former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour, per talkSPORT, should team-mates prove they’re more committed.
Eriksen has a contract that expires in the summer and has, thus far, shown no inclination of signing a new one.
Sources confirmed to FFC over the summer that an offer was on the table but that the Denmark international was keen to move to a foreign club, particularly one of Barcelona or Real Madrid.
No deal was struck, however, and Eriksen is now in a position where he can agree a free transfer in the January transfer window ahead of the summer.
Parlour believes that Spurs should merely cast him aside in favour of members of the squad who have not set their hearts on a move away.
Indeed, he does not expect the midfielder to have any desire to move on in the winter transfer window.
He said: “I think the player will have something to say about (leaving in January) because he might say, ‘I’m not going anywhere’.
“From January 1 you can do your contract and pre-sign with whoever you are going to, and his wages will be so much more if he goes on a free transfer.
“So he’ll be saying: ‘No, I’m not going anywhere and I don’t have to go anywhere’.
“You might get £20million for him in January, but that £20m will go in his pocket if he stays another six months.”
He added: “If there are players who want to play for Tottenham more than Eriksen, then yes [I would ignore him].
“I know he’s a quality player, but sometimes you’ve got to say, ‘he’s going to do a better job for me, he’s going to try harder than Eriksen’.
“As much as he’s got good quality, [a different player] will put a shift in and work hard for the team and everybody around him.
“Sometimes you’ve got to be cruel.”
Eriksen’s manager, Mauricio Pochettino, has appeared to flirt with the idea of mimicking Parlour’s stance already, benching him against Aston Villa, Newcastle United, Leicester City and Sheffield United and leaving him out of the squad altogether for the draw with Watford.
He has only started one Champions League game, too, against Olympiacos and was substituted on against both Bayern Munich and Red Star Belgrade in Serbia; he was left out of the squad against the latter in north London.
When he has played, Eriksen has been below-par. Versus Liverpool, he was particularly poor, struggling to make an impact and failing to register a key pass or complete a dribble, per WhoScored. Against Everton, too, he did not have a shot, nor did he manage to dribble the ball.
Pochettino has not gone all-in when it comes to leaving the 27-year-old out, however, and perhaps that is the next step.
He has Giovani Lo Celso back to full fitness, while Dele Alli is also capable of playing in the No.10 role. Neither player has flirted with exits from north London.
Thus, the pair are better options than Eriksen in the eyes of supporters – there has been a considerable backlash against the Dane on numerous occasions on social media – and Pochettino ought to take Parlour’s advice and pull off the plaster altogether.
It might hurt in the short term, but it is good for the eventual healing process.