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Friday, April 19, 2024

‘Higher expectations’: National media concerned about Manchester United player despite moments of ‘magic’

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Having struggled for regular first-team action at Manchester United, Christian Eriksen really needed to use this international break to his advantage.

The Dane has only started nine Premier League games this season and has played just three times in any competition in 2024.

Yes, injuries have been a factor but Eriksen has admitted that he is ‘dissatisfied’ with his situation and has spoken to Erik ten Hag about his lack of playing time.

Eriksen still has one year left to run on his United contract but a summer departure wouldn’t be a surprise if he is unhappy with his current role.

If ever there was a time to shine and prove that he should be in the team, it was this week.

Eriksen has been away on international duty with Denmark, where he is a key player and a national hero.

That could have provided a platform for Eriksen to shine and really start knocking on Ten Hag’s door, but the reviews have been a little mixed…

Eriksen started against Switzerland on Saturday, featuring in a fairly drab 0-0 draw.

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TV2 handed Eriksen a 4 out of 10 rating for his performance in the game, suggesting that he gave the ball away too regularly and he didn’t live up to the high expectations on him.

‘Had Denmark’s most dangerous attempt. But also had several uncharacteristic turnovers. We can and must have higher expectations for a player like him. After all, he must be our creator,’ they wrote.

BT grade their ratings on a scale of one to six and gave Eriksen just two stars, believing that he shouldn’t be a nailed-on starter for Denmark whilst being out of the United side.

‘Is he even eligible for the national team when he is not playing for United? It was one of the major discussions in connection with Hjulmand’s selection, and the Danes will probably be busy with the discussions after today. Because Eriksen showed glimpses of world class – but perhaps showed the most signs that he is currently out of focus.’

Bold went with 5 out of 10 for Eriksen, agreeing that the lack of playing time is causing ‘problems’ for Eriksen as they also criticised his passing despite some ‘magic’ from set pieces.

‘It was clear to see that the lack of playing time at Manchester United has caused Christian Eriksen problems. He simply lacks fighting form, and you could see that in the passes. However, the native of Fynbo showed that the magic is still hidden in there, as there was quality in the set-pieces, where he was behind Denmark’s best attempt, among other things.’

Denmark vs Switzerland - International Friendly

Photo by Lars Ronbog / FrontZoneSport via Getty Images

Euro 2024 may come at a bad time for Eriksen

Few would be surprised to see Eriksen move on and chase first-team action elsewhere this summer.

The problem for Eriksen is that a summer move may come too late for him to make his spot in the Denmark side absolutely secure.

If Eriksen isn’t going to feature prominently for United then Denmark boss Kasper Hjulmand may need to have some other ideas in mind for Euro 2024.

Eriksen ideally needs to be raring to go this summer but that seems unlikely in his current situation, with the tournament possibly coming at a bad time for him.

Ten Hag won’t just hand out appearances though and with Ineos seemingly looking to make the United squad much younger this summer, Eriksen may be in for a tricky few months.

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