Tottenham Hotspur head coach Antonio Conte has already outlined how Christian Eriksen could succeed in an undisclosed position at Manchester United.
As reported by the Manchester Evening News Eriksen is one of the five acquisitions that new manager Erik ten Hag wants to make this summer earlier this week. United are desperate to expand their midfield options and Eriksen, alongside Barcelona ace Frenkie de Jong, is one of their main targets.
The Danish international is slated to become a free agent in the coming days, with his short contract with Brentford expiring on June 30. reported that Eriksen is weighing his options before making a final decision on his future.
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United’s interest in the former Tottenham star came as a surprise to many, as the club were expected to have focused on a defensive midfielder this summer. Instead, they are chasing a box-to-box midfielder in De Jong and a seasoned attacking midfielder in Eriksen, who is known for creating chances and scoring goals, largely from the No. 10 position.
In reality, United have yet to add an attacking midfielder to their ranks to absorb the losses to Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard, but Bruno Fernandes is expected to remain their number one choice in the most advanced midfield position, meaning he is most likely in direct line. competition with Eriksen for a starting place. However, Conte, who worked with Eriksen at Inter Milan, has previously described how he wanted to make the most of the Dane’s talents beyond his natural position.
The Italian chief, who was linked with United last year, made it his mission to put Eriksen in an unknown deeper role, admitting he hoped he could make things happen by standing in front of the defence, in instead of higher up the field.
“We have to get the best out of our squad,” said Conte in January 2021. “It is inevitable that he [Eriksen] behind Brozo [Marcelo Brozovic] because we don’t have such a player in the squad who can be a playmaker for the defense line.
“We are trying to get the best out of Christian in that position, even though he already plays as an attacking midfielder and a deeper midfielder. This is good for the team and I myself have the opportunity to do it in a different role in midfield. “
With United yet to play their first game under Ten Hag, it is impossible to say with which formation they will lead next season. But if United, just to be clear, continues with their signature 4-3-3 system, it’s hard to imagine Ten Hag deploying a midfield trio of De Jong, Eriksen and Fernandes. It would lack defensive nous and leave the Reds vulnerable in midfield.
However, Conte’s admission that Eriksen is flexible could be good news for United, allowing him and Fernandes to play on the same team at times if needed. Having a different creative force, even deeper, can be helpful, especially in matches where United are overwhelming favorites to come out on top.