• Analysis

Tottenham and the Christian Eriksen saga

Jose Mourinho Tottenham Christian Eriksen Mauricio Pochettino
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The Danish midfielder’s future is up in the air again as he refuses to extend his contract in North London and move away in the summer.

With the exception of a select few, Mauricio Pochettino managed to keep hold of his core group of players. The Argentine tactician was lucky to have Daniel Levy as his chair. Levy is shrewd negotiator and a tough man to sit across you during any discussions.

And just like every good story has its end, Pochettino is not in the Tottenham Hotspur hot seat any more. He was shown the door by Levy after an inconsistent run in English Premier League and their inability to win on the road.

The axing was also a fruit of Levy’s own making. The English businessman’s transfer market designs have played against Tottenham. And as a result they have players who could have been moved on but were not. Chief of which was Christian Eriksen.

Shrewd Levy

The Dane had been courted by Barcelona and Real Madrid. It was with the latter that advanced conversations were held. But nothing came to fruition.

Levy’s shrewdness would also impact Spurs ability to extend contracts. Most concerning were the expiring contracts of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld. The Belgian duo are first tea regulars with years of service up their sleeve.

In the end, Eriksen and other contract rebels would stay in London and see out their contracts. His bitter mood and that of others has not helped setup the dressing room for challenging the title.

Contract rebels

It was Pochettino who would pay in the end. Jose Mourinho would take the Argentine’s place. Get Tottenham back in contention for top-4 was his chief job. His secondary objective would be to calm the situation in the dressing room. And ensure the contract rebels are tied down to the club.

The first and second part of the job have been completed. The third part is tricky. Out of the three, Alderweireld is most likely to stay. Mourinho wanted him at Manchester United and only Levy came between that protracted transfer.

At 32, Vertonghen is similarly likely to stay and see the fruits of his youth pay off as Mourinho looks to fill the empty cabinets at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

And this brings us back to Eriksen. The Danish international is entering the prime years of his footballing career, and losing him will be a travesty. Losing him on a free would be embarrassing.

Seria A suitors

But with Juventus, Inter Milan and Manchester United circling him, it is going to be tough to hold him down. While a move to Manchester would be financially motivated, the Italian giants offer much more.

There is the chance to play with Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala at Juventus. While at the San Siro, Eriksen can herald the resurgence of Inter Milan under Antonio Conte.

Mourinho has a tough task on his hands. He can convince Christian Eriksen to stay but only if Levy can loosen his purse strings and offer the midfielder what he wants.