Tottenham Hotspur should sell Christian Eriksen this summer.
The Denmark international has been heavily linked with an exit from the club as he continues to drag his heels over a new contract. His current deal expires in 2020.
A report from the Independent in January claimed that Real Madrid had made contact with Spurs as they explored the possibility of a £100million deal. Los Blancos, who have since been eliminated from the Champions League and effectively fallen out of contention in La Liga’s title race, are reportedly planning an overhaul of their squad and want one of Eriksen or Chelsea’s Eden Hazard.
Spurs should flutter their eyelashes and convince the Spanish club that Eriksen is the man they need.
Of course, this is not to say that Mauricio Pochettino’s men are a selling club. They have shown in recent years that they have moved past the era of Michael Carrick, Dimitar Berbatov, Luka Modric and Gareth Bale leaving for Manchester United and Los Blancos. The likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli are widely coveted yet appear committed, willing to help raise Spurs to a level where they can compete for the highest honours.
Eriksen, though, does not appear to have the ability nor the desire to join in. He is a patchy player, repeatedly undergoing peaks and troughs. Against Borussia Dortmund in midweek, as Spurs won 1-0 to seal a 4-0 aggregate victory, Eriksen again flattered to deceive.
It was Moussa Sissoko, transformed this season, who provided the assist to Kane for the only goal after Eriksen had half-heartedly poked the ball towards the striker. His pass success rate of 77%, per WhoScored, was the lowest of any Spurs midfield player. He did not complete a dribble, nor did he make a tackle.
This is a player who regularly shirks big matches. Against Chelsea and Arsenal, it was a similar story. In the north London derby, he had a rating of 6.2, having failed to make any sort of impact. Versus the Blues he had a rating of 6.1. In two of the club’s most fierce derbies, he went missing.
It is worth noting that Eriksen has scored five goals this season but they have all come against teams outside the top six: Burnley, Everton, AFC Bournemouth, Cardiff City and Leicester City.
This is a player who could leave for a nine-figure fee. It makes all the sense in the world, for once, for Spurs to push a star towards the exit door.
Eriksen leaving would free up a hefty chunk of change that can be reinvested into a squad that has not been replenished since January of 2018.
Spurs, after all, need a back-up striker, a right winger, a central midfielder and, potentially, two new full-backs. It does not appear that they have an awful lot of money, particularly with the new stadium yet to open.
Selling Eriksen solves that problem at a stroke and gives the club the ability to finally splash the cash in areas in desperate need of new personnel.
The fact of the matter is that Tottenham can afford to allow the Dane to leave; in fact, it might prove imperative.
The club are closer than they have ever been to breaking through the glass ceiling. If they want to become champions, if they want to win trophies regularly, if they want to compete at the very top table, the first step they take should be sacrificing Eriksen. They will rarely have such a chance to pocket £100m that can be pumped straight back into the starting XI.
They just have to hope Real come knocking in the summer.