Manchester

Liverpool should have heeded Gary Neville advice on Christian Eriksen before Manchester United transfer

The Denmark international joined United after turning down the offer of a new contract at Premier League counterparts Brentford. Eriksen had joined the Bees in January on a short-term deal until the end of last season and made a telling impression, less than a year after suffering a cardiac arrest at the European Championship.

Several clubs were linked with signing the 30-year-old, including his former club Tottenham Hotspur, but it was United that won the race for his signature. Initially, it was a signing that attracted plenty of debate, given that United, in Bruno Fernandes, already had a seasoned attacking-midfielder on their books.

It appeared that Eriksen had been added to Erik ten Hag's squad to challenge the Portuguese international and compete with him for a regular starting berth in the No.10 position. However, the United manager has quickly discovered a new role that the former Brentford man is equally as capable of shining in.

The former Inter Milan midfielder has made himself at home in the free-roaming No.8 position, acting as the link man between the defensive-midfield and attacking-midfield positions. He has been a class act in United's recent outings, shining in the back-to-back home fixtures against Arsenal and Real Sociedad recently.

But Eriksen's performances will have come as no great surprise to former United captain Gary Neville, who correctly predicted, speaking back in May, that the Dane had the capability to rejoin one of the Premier League's illustrious 'big-six' amid his good form for Brentford. The former right-back backed Eriksen to be snapped up by one of England's elite and explained why he had the quality to sparkle.

“I think Eriksen will get plucked by a big club,” Neville said, speaking at The Overlap Live earlier this year. “He might show loyalty, to be fair, because of what Brentford have done for him.

“I tell you what, if you were any top-six club that were looking at a midfield-three and you wanted a player to go in there and play 30 games for you in a squad-type [situation], you'd [take him]. He could play for Manchester City, he could play for Liverpool, he could play for any of the top-six.

“I'm not saying starting every week, but he could come on. Look at what [Xherdan] Shaqiri was doing at Liverpool for two or three years there. If Liverpool are looking for a midfield player to come on for, say, Thiago who gets injured a little bit why would you not look at Eriksen? Why would you not look to him to come in for two seasons and do a job for you doing that? He's brilliant.

“He's a brilliant pro, he's a great player, his quality on the ball is unbelievable. To be fair, Brentford played out here [at Old Trafford], it was one of the games United won, but some of Eriksen's passing in that game was out of this world at Old Trafford.”

Eriksen has been astute signing for United so far, establishing himself as one of the very first names on the teamsheet. He is proving key to Ten Hag's way of playing and is quickly cementing himself as a fans' favourite.

As proven by his Tottenham days, he has the capability to play at the very highest level and United are now benefitting from his qualities.

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