Yesterday, ESPN reported that Arsenal have been offered former Tottenham star, Christian Eriksen for a cut price fee. The Danish midfielder currently playing for Inter Milan is struggling to establish himself under Antonio Conte and because of that, continual murmurs over a possible departure for him are surfacing. As many know, Conte tends to play with a system where an out and out number 10, like Eriksen is not used very frequently. He typically prefers a 3-4-3 or a 3-4-2-1 with inverted wingers. The man born in Middelfart is not suited to either system.
Ironically, the last player who was casted aside in such a manner was during the Italian manager’s tenure at Chelsea, it was that of the former Gunner, Cesc Fabregas. Neither player is poor by any stretch, but neither fit into such a riggedly mechanical system.
Many were shocked by the speculation around the player and feel as though he is simply not the man that Arsenal need. However, I do not personally buy into that notion. Eriksen can genuinely be the perfect stop-gap solution to Mikel Arteta’s creative conundrum if a deal is struck in the right way with the 28-year-old, in my opinion.
Of course, players like Houssem Aouar, Dominik Szoboszlai and even Norwich’s Emi Buendia all seem better options, especially in the long run. That being said, however, could any of those realistically be pried away from their clubs in the january window? Probably not. The aforementioned trio may be affordable, but that does not necessarily mean that Lyon, RB Salzburg or Norwich would be willing to sell smack dab in the middle of the season.
Therefore, Eriksen moving to the right side of North London could genuinely be a realistic and tremendous coup for the time being. The side lacks any kind of creativity at the moment and whether a short-term or long-term solvent to the predicament is opted for in January, one thing is for certain. A signing in said department is “non-negotiable”.
The Dane has an abundance of Premier league experience after his seven year spell with Spurs so he knows what the league is all about and the undeniable hardships that lie within English football. Furthermore, Eriksen having over 100 caps with his national team shows just how much football he is capable of playing. Whether you like him or not, there’s no denying, he’s a model professional.
A veteran who is willing to take initiative, work hard and knows the pressures of playing for a big club like Inter may be what the Gunners need in order to start creating more chances and more importantly, score more goals. Eriksen is a decent goal scorer and a good chance creator with a higher xA than any other Arsenal player this season (0.3). Also, it is worth noting that he is somewhat of a set piece specialist too. While we’ve improved on set plays defensively they still remain pathetically impotent attacking-wise.
As long as the deal is structured properly and the 28-year-old is brought in as a stop-gap and not given a multi-year deal like that of Willian and Cedric were, then I will have no complaints. Most should not either. Eriksen is a quality player that would fit well into Arsenal despite his past. Until the club can snap up the ideal candidate, he will suffice.