Tottenham Should Not Look to Resign Former Star Eriksen

Jul 25, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen (23) Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 25, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen (23) Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports /
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Former Tottenham Player Christian Eriksen
Jul 25, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen (23) Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports /

Not the Same Player

Maybe the biggest reason not to re-sign Christian Eriksen is he is not the same player he once was. Whereas Dele Alli had a slow decline over a couple of seasons, Eriksen pretty much fell off over the last 18 months and does not seem likely to get back on track in Milan. The reality is Christian Eriksen may never again be the player he was from 2015-2019 when he really was a maestro on the pitch.

Eriksen’s Wonder Years

In reviewing statistics, over four seasons Eriksen averaged 11 goals and 17 assists per year. Before Harry Kane this season, most would say that is a tremendous return. Those four seasons represented three of the four double-double-digit (goals & assists) seasons Eriksen had for Spurs. He had a high of 14 goals in 2017-18 and an outstanding 23 assists the season before that.

It was that 2016-17 season that Eriksen was most productive with 12 goals to go along with those 23 assists over nearly 4040 minutes. He averaged a goal or assist every 115 minutes, which is just getting it done. Since that time, however, that average has gone up as his numbers have declined. Sure, he had more goals the next season with his 14 but had 10 fewer assists at 13.

The assists came back up the following season some as Eriksen had 17 to go with 10 goals, but over a career high 4129 minutes, his goal or assist per minute average had ballooned to 153. In other words, it was taking almost an entire half of football more for Eriksen to produce a goal or assist, which is a significant drop. Then came he loss to Liverpool, then his comment, then his play went from above average to something less.

Things Fall Apart

Over the final ½ season at Tottenham Hotspur Christian Eriksen became a different player, and the Eriksen of old has never returned. He went from a reliable player, staring 44+ games for five straight seasons to starting 14. He went from averaging over 80 minutes per contest to less than 1 hour. Compounding issues as Eriksen’s time decreased so did his ability to produce.

Over those last 28 appearances – which took Eriksen over 300 in his career – the Dane averaged a goal or assist every 265 minutes, nearly three games. That was a 150-minute drop from his top form in 2016-17. Additionally, Eriksen seemed to pick up a habit of getting yellow cards, somehow managing 5 yellow cards in his 1590 minutes, despite never getting more than 4 in a season while never playing less than 3800 minutes.

Maybe a change of scenery was necessary to get Eriksen back in the grove and back on track. While his overall first ½ season at Inter was okay statistically there were some other issues clearly afoot. Eriksen played in 26 matches, but only started 11. Eriksen was producing at a much better clip, scoring 4 goals, and adding 3 assists in just short of 1100 minutes. While still producing a lower than in 2018-19, only fractionally.

The problem was and remains that Eriksen just is simply not playing enough. Eriksen has made the squad 36 times and appeared 33 times since moving to Inter. He has started less than ½ of those 33 games at 15 total starts. Worse, Eriksen has only completed 90 minutes 4 times in those 15 starts being subbed off the other 11.

The first two complete games came in the first two Europa League matches last season; he never started in the competition again. And two were in Serie A last season. Maybe the most embarrassing part for Eriksen is the fact that seven of his 33 appearances have been for less than 10 minutes, including two 1-minute appearances.

So, we have a player averaging only 43 minutes per appearance this season after averaging only 57 minutes per appearance last season. That seems to be a player moving in the wrong direction. Add in the fact that both Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso are younger and rounding into form under Mourinho and there just does not seem like there would be any more minutes at Tottenham. If the lack of minutes is part of the problem, going somewhere where he will not get more would not help.

We do still like Christian Eriksen here at HotspurHQ and have some fond memories of some great times together. However, those memories should stay in the past where they belong, as Spurs, Mourinho, and the players that want to be here, push Tottenham toward glory together.