Who: Christian Eriksen
From Where: Tottenham
To Where: Inter Milan
For How Much: a reported €20M
Grade For Inter Milan: A
Grade for Tottenham: B
CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN TO INTER MILAN OVERVIEW
This one finally looks like it’s officially a go this coming week. It took awhile to get it across the finish line though.
Christian Eriksen, 27, has been a staple in Spurs’ midfield since ’13-14. With is contract set to expire this summer, his exit has been a matter of when, not if since at least this summer. Speculation throughout June and July linked him to Real Madrid, but it never happened.
It’s no surprise to see him on his way out the door now, as the current situation at Tottenham, plus his contract, make a move to another top European club a no-brainer. Inter Milan, despite blowing a golden opportunity to advance to the Champions League knockout rounds, is in second place in Serie A and right on the heels of Juventus (two points back). Expect Eriksen to provide a big boost for a team thriving under first-year Manager Antonio Conte and strikers Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martínez.
The Dane will reportedly sign a four-and-a-half-year contract worth £260,000 per week. It could rise to £320,000 with bonuses / incentives.
WHO IS HE?
As for what Eriksen brings to the table, as recently as last season, he was widely regarded as one of the game’s top attacking midfielders. His numbers in both ’18-19 (eight goals, 12 assists) and ’17-18 (10 goals, 10 assists) back that up. He did not look like quite the same player late last season or so far this year, but it’s hard to believe he’s suddenly washed up at just 27. It seems far more likely that his limited impact so far this season is due to his thinly-veiled desire to leave.
IS THE PRICE FAIR?
Assuming €20M is accurate, that seems about right. Eriksen, age-wise, should be squarely in his prime, with several years of elite play ahead as long as he stays healthy. He’s nothing if not a creator of opportunities, and with dynamic players like Lukaku and Martínez for him to combine with, it’s easy to see him thriving in Milan. With Inter already pushing Juventus, a quality piece like Eriksen could mean the difference between a second-place finish and a trophy. If Inter finally ends Juve’s reign atop Serie A, $20M will be more than worth it.
WHAT IMPACT SHOULD WE EXPECT?
I’ve probably given away my thoughts on his impact, but in a slow January transfer period to this point, this could be the biggest splash of the winter in Europe, I think — would not have thought Eriksen would be the biggest move of the window a few weeks ago. It’s unclear whether Edinson Cavani-to-Atleti actually happens, and Takumi Minamino (RB Salzburg to Liverpool) and Erling Haaland (RBS to Borussia Dortmund) are future stars, but Eriksen figures to get more minutes than either of them in the short term.
Eriksen strikes me as a player who is understandably disgruntled and itching for a change of scenery. Dropping him in a new league on a title-contending team with a dynamic manager should bring out the best in Eriksen. The Dane is on a short list of players capable of producing double-digit goals and assists in the same year in a league like the EPL. If only this team had handled Barcelona’s reserves on the final matchday of UCL group play, it would be an intriguing Champions League dark horse.
Inter Milan (A): The club is getting a quality player who should have a ton left in the tank. He also seems like a good fit schematically/tactically. And it’s worth noting that $20M is on the cheap side when you consider that last summer, several of Europe’s top teams spent that much or (waaay) more – Real Madrid splashed out €60M on Luka Jovic – for players unlikely to be at Eriksen’s level until a few years down the road.
Tottenham (B): Eriksen’s bags have been packed – figuratively, if not literally – since last summer, so this was inevitable. But considering there was a legitimate chance of him leaving in a few months without his current club getting a dime for him, Spurs have to be happy with the $20M price tag.