On Tuesday night, Christian Eriksen proved that he’s not just a Premier League class player, he’s a world-class player. Football sceptics have always said that some of the greats in football will never truly be accepted until they deliver on the international stage and now Christian Eriksen has done just that.
In a must-win game for the Danes away from home, Eriksen bagged a hat-trick at a sold-out Aviva Stadium. The hat-trick just tops off his great form for his country, as he’s scored 9 goals in his last 8 international appearances. And with that performance, he announced himself to the world in forceful fashion.
Here’s why Barcelona should turn their attention towards Christian Eriksen.
Since arriving in the Premier League, Christian Eriksen has directly contributed to 74 goals for Tottenham, scoring 34 goals and assisting 40. That’s a goal or assist every 2nd game. He’s proven himself to be a pivotal asset for Mauricio Pochettino. Tottenham are often dubbed the Harry Kane team or the Dele Alli spectacle, but without Christian Eriksen creating the chances he does, neither would be flourishing like they are. His performance on Tuesday further proved that notion.
Even Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neil, despite the defeat, had to concede that the Dane was a world-class player. People are finally starting to see what I’ve been seeing for the past two years. The 25-year-old deserves to have his name mentioned alongside the elites. To me, it’s incredible that Philippe Coutinho gets his name thrown into the mix with the Mesut Özil’s and Andres Iniesta’s. Is it because he’s Brazilian? Perhaps, but based on ability or productivity, it doesn’t make sense to rate Coutinho over Eriksen.
Instead of spending a close to world record fee on Philippe Coutinho, Barcelona would be wise to spend half of that fee on a player clearly more effective. Christian Eriksen excels especially at delivering set pieces, long through balls and long shots, all assets he could use to dominate La Liga. Now imagine fusing Eriksen’s eye for a pass with the movement of a Lionel Messi or Luis Suárez.
The South American duo have been starved of service since Xavi Hernandez moved and Iniesta’s powers declined, forcing them to be more direct in their dribbling. However, the signing of Christian Eriksen presents Ernesto Valverde to bring possession-based football back to the Nou Camp. Not tiki-takka for the sake of it, but penetrative passing from the middle with one of the best midfielders in the world.
Barcelona may be flying clear at the top of La Liga, but for them to dominate Europe again, they must strengthen their midfield options. Ivan Rakitić is an adequate player, but for the heights, the Catalonians are trying to reach, he will not suffice. This season, the Croatian has directly contributed to 4 goals in 1074 minutes of football, contrast that to the 7 goals in 1198 minutes of Eriksen, and the gulf in quality is there for all to see.