Why Keeping Christian Eriksen Fit is Vital for Manchester United

Christian Eriksen of Manchester United (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Christian Eriksen of Manchester United (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images) /

Going into the new season, many Manchester United fans were concerned as to how weak their midfield options were. The Red Devils allowed Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, and Nemanja Matic leave on free transfers during the summer.

The Red Devils had no midfielders who were technically good enough to carry the ball from the first to the second phase of play. This, coupled with the absence of a specialist defensive midfielder, made United’s midfield pretty weak.

Manchester United after a fortnight-long hassle however finally managed to convince Christian Eriksen to join them amidst interest from Spurs and Brentford, who were looking to extend his contract with the club for another season.

Eriksen’s Well-Known Story

As we all know, he suffered a cardiac arrest at Euro 2021 and had his contract terminated by Inter Milan because Serie A does not allow players to play with an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD).

For many, he was the backup option to Bruno Fernandes whilst few believed he would ultimately displace the Portuguese international from the starting XI. However, the Danish international has slowly but surely established himself as a key player alongside Bruno Fernandes in the Manchester United setup.

The 30-year-old has already played nearly 530 minutes in the Premier League whilst also featuring in the Europa League fixtures against Real Sociedad and Sheriff Tiraspol.

Eriksen Has Grown Into His Role Under Erik Ten Hag

After a long and drawn-out Frenkie De Jong saga which ultimately never came to fruition, Erik Ten Hag turned to Eriksen to play the role. Despite struggling in the first few games, he has grown into the role and thus far looks absolutely brilliant.

The Arsenal game was evidence of that. Although the game will probably be remembered for Antony’s debut goal, it was his contributions and big-game experience that proved vital. This was his most eye-catching performance so far which has helped debunk the myth that he and Bruno cannot operate in the same midfield.

On the Ball for Manchester United

The Dane has provided some much-needed clarity in possession for a team that has previously looked pretty shaky in midfield. On the ball, Eriksen is proving to be integral to United in ball progression.

One player benefiting from the free signing is Fernandes. The acting captain no longer needs to be dropping deep and spamming long balls, which helps retain possession.

Eriksen is also providing good cover for Scott Mctominay, who thus far has been a crucial part of Erik Ten Hag’s side. On the ball, he is proving pivotal for United to progress from their own penalty area to the opposition’s penalty area, but he is not perfect for this role.

Star signing Casemiro still looks a little rusty and if the game against Sheriff Tiraspol is anything to go by, the Brazilian will still need a week or two to be fully integrated into the squad.

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The Red Devils have had their game against rivals Leeds United postponed and will be playing their city rivals next in the Premier League. It will be really interesting to see how Erik Ten Hag plans for this game, especially considering how in-form City are right now.