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Former Real Madrid player says ‘exceptional’ Manchester United man is facing ‘big problem’ at Euro 2024

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While Diogo Dalot, Bruno Fernandes, Kobbie Mainoo and Rasmus Hojlund will head to the European Championships with their confidence sky high, the same cannot be said of everyone in the Manchester United squad.

Dalot was named the club’s Players’ Player of the Year. Fernandes enjoyed another masterful campaign, leading by example with the captain’s armband around his bicep. Mainoo capped a stunning breakthrough season with the winner in the FA Cup final.

And Rasmus Hojlund scored a very respectable 16 goals in all competitions.

Another Manchester United man may not look back on the 2023/24 campaign quite so fondly, however. One of the first names on Erik ten Hag‘s team sheet last year, Christian Eriksen only started 14 games this.

Just 12 of those came in the Premier League, while the veteran playmaker didn’t even get off the bench during Saturday’s glorious Wembley win over rivals Man City.

And while there was never any question about whether Eriksen would be included alongside Hojlund in Denmark’s Euro 2024 squad, the legendary Thomas Gravesen understandably has concerns about what shape the 32-year-old will be in for a side looking to emulate that semi-final run of last time.

Christian Eriksen of Manchester United in action during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Sheffield United at Old Trafford on ...

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Christian Eriksen endures tough season at Manchester United

“Is he at 80 per cent? Or is he at 70 per cent? Or 50? Or 20!?,” a worried Gravesen tells Tipsbladet. “We have no idea, because he doesn’t play.

“And that’s a problem. Christian Eriksen at top level is an exceptional player. But who is he at the moment?”

This is not the first time the former Celtic, Real Madrid and Everton enforcer has expressed doubts about Eriksen’s lack of match sharpness. Gravesen called his call-up in March a ‘scandalous’ decision, suggesting that the one-time Man United linked Nicolai Vallys of Brondby should have been included instead.

Denmark boss Kasper Hjulmand, however, is playing down the concerns of Gravesen and co. While starts have been hard to come by at club level, Eriksen did feature in Man United’s final six games of the Premier League season, assisting Hojlund’s fine finish in the 2-0 curtain call victory over Brighton at The Amex.

“I’m not too worried. I am very happy that Christian has been playing a few minutes lately,” Hjulmand told Ekstra Bladet a fortnight ago. “It is extremely difficult to shine in a team that struggles to make the connection work.

“We know in this world that things can quickly go the other way. I am glad that they are both in very good condition.

“So, in that way, I’m not too worried about those two.”

  • READ MORE: Who is Rasmus Hojlund? Inside the life of Manchester United’s dynamic Danish forward

Old Trafford exit looks likely

Eriksen and Hojlund could come up against Mainoo and Harry Maguire during Denmark’s group-stage clash with England in Frankfurt on June 20th.

Eriksen, meanwhile, is expected to follow Raphael Varane in a sizeable Old Trafford exodus this summer, a return to Ajax mooted for a man who’s experience could come in very handy at a youthful side in need of a leader.

“When I look at the possibilities and where he has come from and where he can do fantastically well for a few more years, then Ajax will be a fantastic place,” Denmark icon Micahel Laudrup tells ViaPlay.

“I also know that Ajax have mentioned that they are interested. After his cardiac arrest (at the 2021 European Championships), he was in Amsterdam rehabilitating. He knows the city, he knows the language and he knows the club.

“They will almost receive him as a king returning home.”

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