Christian Eriksen, one of Erik ten Hag’s initial signings at Manchester United, finds himself out of the starting lineup as the team grapples with defensive issues.
Eriksen played full 90 minutes in three consecutive fixtures in August and September against Nottingham Forest, Arsenal, and Brighton, and was also chosen for the match against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
However, he hasn’t started since then, playing only 102 minutes across the following five league, Carabao Cup, and Champions League games, including missing a game entirely due to illness.
During his last appearance against Brentford, where Eriksen came on for Casemiro at halftime, he played nearly half of those minutes as Ten Hag’s team fought for a comeback victory, ultimately secured in second-half stoppage time.
As he prepares to represent Denmark in a Euro 2024 qualifying double-header, the former Internazionale star shared insights into his situation at the club.
“I think you should ask the coach what he thinks,” Eriksen told Danish outlet Ekstrabladet. “We have been hit hard by injuries in defense. We have simply conceded too many goals. I was sick last week, but I’m doing fine. I don’t have any flaws. The body feels good, and of course, I want to play every game.
“But if you have seen the matches yourself, you may also see that (Ten Hag) plays with slightly different types than me,” he added. In the last game, Ten Hag started with a central midfield pairing of Casemiro and Sofyan Amrabat against Brentford, while Hannibal started against Galatasaray in United’s last European match.
Ten Hag’s explanation for substituting Casemiro early against Brentford could be a positive sign for Eriksen. “I wanted more football,” Ten Hag explained after the victory. “Someone who brings passing, distribution, link-up play. So I thought to bring Christian Eriksen on for Casemiro.”
United’s next game is against Sheffield United, who are currently at the bottom of the Premier League. This fixture is another where United is expected to dominate, and Ten Hag must decide whether it’s the kind of game that warrants Eriksen’s presence in the midfield.
Before that, Eriksen has a pair of crucial international matches to focus on. In Denmark’s Euro 2024 qualifying group, the top four teams are separated by just one point, and victories against Kazakhstan and San Marino could significantly contribute to their qualification for the tournament in Germany next summer.