The talented Dane made an unexpected comeback in the Premier League last season. Now it looks like he will be signing for a top-half team, so will he be a major player both for real and in fantasy next season?
Christian Dannemann Eriksen was born in Denmark in February 1992, making him now 30 years old. He has played for just four teams. He started at Ajax of Amsterdam where he came through the youth system, then he moved to Tottenham in August 2013. After six and half successful seasons there, he moved to Inter Milan in January 2020. Playing for Denmark in Euro 2020 (which took part in 2021 due to Covid) he suffered a cardiac arrest, and I am sure everyone remembers those horrific few minutes.
The initial assumption was that his playing career was over, but the wonders of modern medicine have resulted in a full recovery after being fitted with an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator. The rules in Serie A mean that he can’t play with this device fitted, so last January he made a remarkable return to the Premier League at Brentford. This short period was successful, with Eriksen being instrumental in the Bees retaining Premier League status. As of July 1st, Eriksen officially has no team, making him a free agent, and very attractive to those teams which are prepared to risk his health.
Eriksen made his Danish debut in March 2010 and has so far made 115 appearances, including four in the past season, something that seemed completely unthinkable only months earlier.
There has been much speculation over Eriksen’s future, with some suggestion that he would stay on at Brentford as a thank you to them for taking a risk with him. But the lure of a bigger club has proved irresistible, Manchester United wining the race to sign him to a reported three year contract. Crucially too, he has passed a detailed medical. United hopes to unveil him during an Australia tour ending on July 23rd.
As might be expected, Eriksen has some very impressive career stats, having scored 100 goals across his career, and supplying 162 assists. 52 goals and 71 assists have come in the Premier League, and his short 11-game spell at Brentford resulted in one goal plus four assists, so he clearly retains the ability to perform at EPL level. Despite some initial skepticism, his performances for Brentford won pretty much universal acclaim, and so it is little surprise that United has come calling.
How Will Eriksen Fit in At United?
Since he hasn’t yet played for United, this is a subject of some speculation. Not least is the relationship he will have with Bruno Fernandes. It is possible that they will both play in attacking roles, or perhaps Eriksen will sit deeper, but that could introduce its own issues, especially defensively, since Eriksen’s strengths are not tracking runners and tackling.
Last season at Brentford, Eriksen was undoubtedly the main playmaker, but that will not be so clear-cut at United. Also, he is a set-piece specialist, but that also collide with Bruno and probably Ronaldo.
At Brentford he was a sure starter and guaranteed to be on most set-pieces. Prior to that, at Spurs under Mauricio Pochettino he was also a guaranteed starter and again was on many set-pieces. My recollection is that he was never a must-have in the Official format, but was definitely a popular selection during his Tottenham time. He was also a decent pick last season. Since he has officially left Brentford, he has been removed from the player rosters, so we don’t know what his price will be, but my suspicion is that he’ll be priced around 8. For me, there will be better options at that price.
A further point to note is that his arrival will surely further depress Bruno’s prospects (which already took a hit from the arrival of Ronaldo). Bruno Fernandes is priced at 10, so I think we can expect his 3.8% ownership to dwindle further. That’s remarkable for one of the stand-out options of the 2020-21 season.
Perhaps Eriksen’s creativity will lead to improved metrics for United’s forward line, but that seems to me to be wait and see. I’m trying to be positive since I really like the player, but I don’t see it as a great fantasy move right now.
In Fantrax, Eriksen has not been removed, remaining a Brentford player there for the moment, priced at a mere $5.88. This is a very tempting price, which should remain steady since Fantrax doesn’t change prices when players change clubs. So he is definitely someone I will be considering, and a home game against Brighton is not the worst fixture in GW-1.
How do you feel about Christian Eriksen joining Manchester United? Will he be a starter there, or will he become the next Juan Mata? Are you happy that a player with his medical condition can play in the Premier League? Will he be a success at United, and will he blend with the other stars there? Should he have gone somewhere else? In fantasy, is he someone who you will consider?