Christian Eriksen And A Well-Worn Path From Tottenham To Real Madrid8 min read
After months of will-he, won’t-he speculation, the only surprise for Christian Eriksen will be if he isn’t sold in either the upcoming transfer window or next summer.
Tottenham Hotspur have offered their wonderfully creative midfielder three new contracts in a bid to keep him at the new White Hart Lane, and the Dane has rebuffed them all.
It’s absolutely clear that the player wants out, so Daniel Levy would do well to ensure that he gets a fee for the player in January, rather than letting Eriksen wind down what would then be the last six months of his contract.
That would mean allowing the player to leave for free in July 2020, and the astute Spurs chairman is hardly likely to settle for that scenario.
Real Madrid were heavily rumoured to be interested in Eriksen’s services in the last transfer window, though nothing concrete ever materialised.
In fact, it became known quite quickly that it was actually Paul Pogba who was Zinedine Zidane’s preferred candidate for that area of the pitch.
For any number of reasons, the main one being that Manchester United were unwilling to sell, the Frenchman never arrived in Madrid.
Given that Eriksen is likely to be available in January for around the €20m mark, a suggestion that a move for Pogba is dead in the water now probably isn’t too far from the truth.
The path from north London to Madrid is a well-worn one, with both Luka Modric and Gareth Bale enjoying stellar careers after swapping the English capital for the Spanish one.
Time is now for the great Dane
At 27 years of age, Eriksen knows that if he doesn’t make the move to a truly world class outfit now, the train will leave the station. He won’t get a second opportunity.
From a buying perspective, it’s easy to understand why Los Blancos might want to acquire him too.
Coming into his peak years as a player, he has experience at the highest level, and is a ball-playing midfielder who makes things happen.
With contemporary, Modric, not yet put out to pasture but needing to be rotated a little more often these days, Eriksen’s hire should allow the Croat to extend his club career a little longer.
His energy, technique and particularly his first touch, will all find themselves right at home at the Santiago Bernabeu, not to mention his exquisite range of passing.
In a team that’s looked pedestrian at times this season, Eriksen can give them the boost and verve they need.
Zidane’s stance in January will be an interesting one too, mind.
The coach allegedly vetoed a move for the player in the summer, with Florentino Perez backing the judgment of the Frenchman.
However, when it appeared that Bale was on the verge of moving to China, Florentino stepped in.
The president’s decisive action set the Welshman on a collision course with his coach which resulted in a humiliating climbdown from Zidane once the transfer deadline had passed.
Will he risk upsetting the board again by digging his heels in?
Depending on how well the team are doing by that point, he may or may not have leverage with which to do so, but it would be folly for the club to lose out on such a talent when he’s available at a knockdown price.
There are elements of the Kepa fiasco about a possible deal too.
If we cast our minds back to January 2018, Zidane was quite happy with the two goalkeepers that he had in situ already, Kiko Casilla and Keylor Navas.
The club clearly wanted the young Athletic Club goalkeeper, and would’ve signed him for €20m had the coach not been so against the deal. In the end, Zidane won the battle of wills, and Kepa ended up moving six months later to Chelsea for €80m.
He’d even said goodbye to team-mates at training, believing he would be signing for Real, until the plug was pulled. That simply can’t be allowed to happen this time, and both coach and club must be singing from the same hymn sheet.
Should the deal eventually complete satisfactorily, the one thing that Eriksen must countenance is the pressure he will be under each and every week. The scrutiny will be unlike anything he’s ever faced.
Eden Hazard is only just getting to grips with the demands placed on his shoulders and he’s flattered to deceive so far in his Madrid career.
Having also made the move from London, he will be well placed to advise Eriksen on what to expect.
The Santiago Bernabeu isn’t a ground for shrinking violets, so the Dane has to be willing to put himself front and centre for Real and take games by the scuff of the neck when needed, something that he hasn’t always done for Spurs.
It’s now or never Christian…
Christian Eriksen to sign for Real Madrid before 3rd Feb 2020
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