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‘He showed Ten Hag’: National team boss backing star who is unhappy at Man United

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One of Manchester United’s senior players is ‘dissatisfied’ with his game time – or a lack thereof – under Erik ten Hag and but there was never any suggestion that he would pay for his place in the national team set-up.

With the European Championships now only a few months away, you can understand Kasper Hjulmand’s concerns.

Ahead of Denmark’s opener against Slovenia on June 16, a number of his star players are at risk of arriving on German soil somewhat undercooked. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is struggling for regular minutes at Tottenham Hotspur. Yussuf Poulsen is no longer a starter at RB Leipzig. Mikkel Damsgaard, one of hte breakout stars of Euro 2020, has endured a difficult campaign with Brentford.

But perhaps the biggest concerns surround Christian Eriksen, Manchester United’s increasingly seldom-seen playmaker.

Sunday’s appearance off the bench against Liverpool in the FA Cup quarter-finals was only the 32-year-old’s third outing in 2024, after all, Eriksen making no secret of his disappointment with a lack of regular minutes.

And while Hjulmand was never going to act on the advice of one Denmark icon – Tomas Gravesen – and drop Eriksen from the squad, it’s safe to say the boss is hoping for a change in fortunes at club level for a man who still has such an important role on the international stage.

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Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Christian Eriksen ‘dissatisfied’ at Manchester United

“Of course, there is a limit to how long something like this can take place. But I trust Pierre (Hojbjerg) 100 per cent, and I do the same with Christian,” Hjulmand tells Tipsbladet.

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“I am calm in the way that I don’t think you can keep quality down. He also showed Ten Hag, with his (performance off the bench) against Liverpool, that he is still here.”

That, he most certainly did. Had Marcus Rashford not squandered a glorious chance right at the end of normal time, Eriksen would have assisted United’s winner with the sort of scooped pass Paul Scholes would have been proud of.

Eriksen, what he lacks in legs these days, is still capable of making up for in pure, playmaking ability, even if his continued presence in the Denmark set-up puts pressure on Hjulmand to structure a midfield with enough energy to compensate for Eriksen’s latter-day sluggishness.

Euro 2024 only three months away

“(Man United) will play many games for the rest of the season, so I’m crossing my fingers. Because, with the quality that Christian has, it must be a matter of time before he gets some more playing time,” the former Mainz boss adds.

“Christian’s quality comes into play quickly because he has a natural ability to place himself between players, and he has an understanding and football brain that makes (it impossible to) take the quality out of him.

“It is clear that playing matches is different from training. But the way he is, he can still be between the lines and make the passes you know. So I believe in him.

“But, of course, I hope he gets more playing time.”

Hjulmand, at least, will not have similar concerns about Eriksen’s Man United team-mate Rasmus Hojlund.

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