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Spurs: Christian Eriksen is showing Antonio Conte what he’s missing

Tottenham Hotspur got back to winning ways in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon, with Antonio Conte’s side sealing a dramatic 3-2 comeback over AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

However, as has so often been the case for Spurs this season, the Italian’s side got off to an extremely slow start on the south coast, with Tottenham severely lacking creativity in their build-up play – failing to create a single big chance despite boasting 64% possession in the first half – and ultimately falling 2-0 behind with 49 minutes gone.

This saw the 53-year-old withdraw Oliver Skipp and replace the central midfielder with right-winger Lucas Moura at the break, switching from a 3-5-2 formation to his preferred 3-4-3 set-up – a change that sparked the away side into life, with goals from Ryan Sessegnon, Ben Davies and Rodrigo Bentancur completing a sensational comeback.

Despite the victory, the Italian head coach will undoubtedly be greatly concerned by his side’s inability to create consistent clear-cut chances throughout a match, an unwanted trait of Spurs’ that would likely have been solved with the signing of a more attack-minded midfield option in the summer transfer window.

And, considering the fact that Conte was heavily linked with a move to bring Christian Eriksen back to north London this summer, only for the Denmark international to join Manchester United on a free transfer, the Italian’s decision to not push harder for the 30-year-old is already proving to have been something of a mistake.

Indeed, the £15m-rated talent was at his creative best in the Red Devils’ 1-0 victory over West Ham United on Sunday afternoon, enjoying 85 touches of the ball, completing three key passes, finding his man with two crosses and four long balls and creating one big chance for his teammates.

The £150k-per-week playmaker also created his side’s only goal of the game, delivering a simply sensational half-volleyed cross for Marcus Rashford to head home in the 38th minute of the match, a contribution that ultimately sealed all three points for Erik ten Hag’s outfit.

Speaking about the Dane’s delivery for the goal, ex-Chelsea and West Ham left-back Scott Minto said on talkSPORT:

“Let me tell you, that’s a full-back’s nightmare when the ball is whipped in with such quality and the guy is able to run and jump on top of you in the way that Rashford did.

“There’s a really good one-two with Bruno Fernandes who does really well with his head, but Eriksen takes that touch and there’s not that many people in world football, or certainly in the Premier League, who can whip the ball in when it’s kind of bouncing on the half-volley with pace to the far post and just inviting someone to get on the end of it.”

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However, it was not only on Sunday when the 117-cap international has come up with the creative goods for United this season, with Eriksen having made a total of three assists and created two big chances over his 11 Premier League appearances this term, in addition to making an average of 1.4 key passes and taking 1.5 shots of his own per game.

In comparison, no Tottenham midfielder has averaged more key passes or taken more shots in the top flight this season, while only Ivan Perisic has provided his teammates with more assists than the United maestro in the current league campaign.

As such, it is clear to see that missing out on the “unreal” – in the words of Liam Canning – Eriksen this summer has proven something of a disaster for Conte, as the Italian will undoubtedly be red-faced when watching the 30-year-old pulling the strings for one of Spurs’ biggest top-four rivals week in week out.

Article title: Spurs: Christian Eriksen is showing Antonio Conte what he’s missing

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