Christian Eriksen Finds Himself In A Precarious Position At Tottenham
All the indications were that Tottenham’s Champions League final defeat to Liverpool signalled Christian Eriksen’s last appearance in the Lilywhite shirt.
The Dane has made no secret of his desire to swap it for the famous Blancos of Real Madrid.
Just days after suffering disappointment in the Spanish capital, the 27-year-old flirted openly with his suitors.
"I feel that I am at a stage of my career where I would like to try something new," he told Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet.
"I have the deepest respect for everything that is happening at Tottenham and it would not be something negative to stay. But I have also said that I would like to try something new.
"I hope that something will be decided this summer. That is the plan."
Eriksen also described Real as a “step-up”, yet such is their determination to rebuild their depleted attack that they have already signed Eden Hazard from Chelsea for a fee that could rise to £150million.
Reports from Spain suggest that it is Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, not the Spurs enigma, who is next on the club’s list.
Zinedine Zidane is not totally convinced, viewing Eriksen as inconsistent in the big games.
That may go some way towards explaining why the playmaker’s interview stopped ever so slightly short of ‘wantaway’ and was more ‘tentatively seeking a new challenge’. He was careful to add: "It all depends on Daniel Levy and there has to be another club too. Or I will sit down myself at the table and negotiate a new contract."
If the door is not entirely closed on that deal, it has been creaking shut with every passing month. His existing contract has just a year left on it and it is he, not Levy, who has vetoed an extension.
"His decision to reconsider appears a matter of necessity rather than choice. Spurs have been here before, Luka Modric and subsequently Gareth Bale having made their feelings known when Real came calling and likewise, Eriksen may well have reached a point of no return.
Levy no longer enjoys doing business with Florentino Perez either, calling a halt to the ‘Special Relationship’ the two clubs shared after Bale’s departure and the sale of Mesut Ozil to Arsenal.
On the one hand, Eriksen’s hand is strong; only Hazard has a better assist record in the Premier League since 2013.
Mauricio Pochettino has acknowledged the role he plays in pulling the strings. He is the link between an often suspect defensive midfield and the rest of Spurs’ attack. Some would argue that nexus is irreplaceable.
More the pity that he hasn’t been rewarded with silverware in north London and is without a trophy since he left Ajax in 2013.
There have been opportunities when, had he been at his best on the biggest stages, he might have changed that – and that could be what holds him back as he seeks new pastures this summer.