Mauricio Pochettino insists Christian Eriksen remains a part of his plans for Tottenham’s clash with Manchester City despite ongoing doubts over his future.
Eriksen didn’t make the line-up for Spurs’ Premier League opener against Aston Villa last weekend. With Pochettino’s men a goal down, however, the Dane came on the 64th-minute and made a huge impact.
The playmaker injected some badly needed creativity into the game and nearly made it 2-1 with a free-kick after Tanguy Ndombele equalised. Harry Kane later fired home two late goals to bag Spurs an opening day victory.
But doubts continue to persist over Eriksen’s future amid reported interest from Real Madrid and Juventus. Not helping matters is the fact the European transfer market is still open, while the English one is shut. It means Spurs can’t sign a replacement should he leave.
Another issue, of course, to settle is the fact the 27-year-old has less than 12 months left on his contract.
Nevertheless, Spurs coach Pochettino hinted he could start Eriksen for Saturday’s showdown with City anyway.
“I am happy with the last week with how he is doing, his performance in training (has been good). We still have one training session and I will decide the starting XI,” said Pochettino, according to Sky Sports.
“No (contract situation does not affect decision). For me, it is the same between a player who has one year on his contract and one who has five years, the section is not for the length of the contract it is for the performance.
“After five years you all (media) should know to avoid this question, because you know I will make the decision based only on performance, and not the personal situation with the club.
“My point is to help all the players, to support all the players until they decide with the club to go a different way with their career, and to show respect to all. Sometimes it is difficult to understand outside of football or this club that respect means respect.”
The City and Spurs match will take place at the Etihad Stadium, with kick-off set for 18:30 (CET).