Denmark international attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen has signed with Manchester United as a free agent. (Martin Rose/Getty Images)
PLAYER CONTRACTS STATS & ANALYSIS

Christian Eriksen to Manchester United: Everything You Need to Know

Amid a miraculous career resurgence, the Danish international heads to Old Trafford to compete for Champions League football once again.

Free agent midfielder Christian Eriksen has reportedly agreed to terms with a new club, and it happens to be biggest and most popular one he’s ever played for: Manchester United. The imminent move comes after months of speculation regarding the Danish international playmaker’s possible choices of re-signing with Brentford, rejoining former club Tottenham Hotspur, or tackling a new challenge with the Red Devils.

Brentford brought Eriksen on board last season, marking his return to Premier League football after suffering a life-threatening moment of cardiac arrest at last summer’s UEFA European Championship while representing Denmark. After the incident, Eriksen had to have a defibrillator implanted into his chest in order to ensure his safety.

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During that time, he was a member of Serie A club Inter Milan. Italian league rules prohibit athletes from playing with a heart defibrillator, and the Cardiological Organizational Committee for Sports Fitness protocol upheld the rule, compelling Eriksen to part ways with the recently-minted scudetto winners so he could continue playing the game he loves.

As the 2021-22 European season began, most clubs were unsure whether Eriksen would be healthy enough to return to anything remotely resembling his old form and were hesitant to sign him. Nonetheless, Brentford took a gamble on Eriksen, and it didn’t take him long to impress football clubs worldwide once again — including Erik ten Hag and Manchester United.

The 30-year-old Danish international is ten Hag’s second signing after the club completed the transfer of left back Tyrell Malacia from Rotterdam club Feyenoord the previous week.

Let’s dive into the details of Christian Eriksen’s transfer to Man United — which becomes final pending a medical evaluation and a proper contract signing — to get a better sense of how he can excel at the club as a new attacking threat in the middle of ten Hag’s 4-3-3.

Christian Eriksen Contract & Transfer Details

Contract length: 3 years
Expected weekly wages: Not reported
Free agency: 2025

Base transfer fee: None
Estimated market value: $22,000,000 (via Transfermarkt)

Christian Eriksen Career Accolades

  • Dutch Cup winner (2009)
  • Eredivisie champion (2010, ’11, ’12)
  • Danish Footballer of the Year (2013, ’14, ’15, ’17, ’18)
  • Dutch Super Cup winner (2014)
  • Serie A champion (2021)

The Value Eriksen Brings to Manchester United

United were looking to expand their midfield after the departure of Paul Pogba to Juventus. Like Malacia, ten Hag was familiar with Eriksen through a unique scouting process — after the playmaker left Inter Milan, he began to train at the facilities of Dutch titans Ajax, the club that gave him his professional debut — and ten Hag happened to be the manager there at the time. He was already well-versed in Eriksen’s creative qualities in the midfield, but got to see them firsthand.

Only Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard (38) and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne (42) initiated more scoring chances than Eriksen following his debut for Brentford after the January 2022 transfer window. And it must be said that ten Hag’s tactics routinely call upon the services of anywhere from one to three attacking midfielders.

Ten Hag is offensively minded and wants to take advantage of counter-attacking opportunities. Last year’s Manchester United team didn’t have the personnel to facilitate, carry the ball forward, and join attacks with Cristiano Ronaldo as the tip of the spear, but with CR7 expected to head out the door in the current window, the team is much more likely to reflect the manager’s desired tactics Eriksen figures to play a key role in the proceedings as a creator and opportunistic shot-taker. All told, partnering him with Bruno Fernandes in the Red Devils’ midfield could make for the electric sort of pairing that United have searched for far and wide.

Even if CR7 does stick around — not may teams on earth could shoulder his league-leading wage bill — Eriksen’s unique skill profile allows him both to create goals from the midfield and put balls on frame as a setpiece specialist.

Expect ten Hag to call upon the Danish star man early and often to produce a bit of magic if the club truly has designs on qualifying for the 2023-24 UEFA Champions League. And if that does happen, it’s the perfect exclamation point on a comeback story that felt like a sheer impossibility just one short year ago.

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