Tomorrow night will see Christian Eriksen face his former team, Tottenham Hotspur, as a member of Manchester United, for the first time. Back in early August, right before the season started, Eriksen said that Spurs conversed with him about coming back, but they never made a concrete offer.
It is not often that a player publicly opens up on something like this, just weeks after his previous contract had expired, and he inks a new deal for a different club. Ahead of the massive midweek fixture, Spurs boss Antonio Conte admitted that Spurs did indeed try to re-sign their former midfielder.
Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur FYIs
Kick off: Wed. Oct 19, 8:15, Old Trafford
Google Result Probability: Tottenham Hotspur 32% Manchester United 41% Draw 27%
PL Form: Tottenham Hotspur WWLWW Manchester United DWLWW
PL Position: Tottenham Hotspur 3rd, 23pts Manchester United 5th, 16pts
“Yeah, but you know I don’t want to speak about players of other teams,” Conte said yesterday. “For sure, Christian is a player I enjoy to work with him. He is a player I would like to train again, to have in my squad.”
Prior to suffering cardiac arrest during a Euro 2020 game (staged in 2021) between Denmark and Finland, Conte was Eriksen’s manager at Inter Milan. However, Serie A rules dictate that Eriksen could not play with the cardioverter defibrillator that he had required after the serious and frightening incident, and thus his contract at Inter was terminated.
Brentford then signed the Danish international to a six-month deal.
After that deal expired this past summer, several clubs were interested in the 30-year-old before he ultimately chose United, and Conte confirmed on Monday that Spurs were in the mix.
“But you know very well the transfer market is very difficult. I think he made a big choice to go to United to sign for a three-year contract,” Conte said.
“I wish the best for him, for his family, apart from the game against us. Then for the rest of the season, I wish for him to be the best on the pitch. Was it close (a deal getting done)? Now is not important to say yes or not but Christian is a player every club tried to bring into the team.”
I guess their stories match up, somewhat, well, at least a little. I mean it’s the same general page, pretty much.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and he co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast, part of Edge of the Crowd Network. Follow him and the website on Twitter and Instagram.Follow paulmbanks