Christian Eriksen was unafraid of setting a few bridges on fire when he left Tottenham Hotspur and signed for Inter Milan in January.
‘There’s a big chance of winning a trophy here … or a bigger chance than where I was of course,’ said the Dane shortly after his £ 16.9 million move.
“The last time I won something was at Ajax, so it was years ago.”
Christian Eriksen left Tottenham to win silverware at Inter Milan, but it didn’t work out that way
Christian Eriksen was revealed as an Inter Milan player in the famous opera house Scala
The Danish midfielder posed for his contract signing with Inter chairman Steven Zhang (right)
The problem is, comments like this can haunt you.
It’s not that Tottenham won or will necessarily win that long-awaited piece of silverware, even with the return of Gareth Bale, but Eriksen’s stock has plummeted over the past nine months.
Frankly, his time at the San Siro was a disaster and his fortune is unlikely to improve anytime soon.
The arrival of Arturo Vidal from Barcelona this week reduces Eriksen’s chances of a point in Antonio Conte’s Inter midfield.
Even worse, it turns out that Vidal was the player who actually wanted to sign Conte in January instead of Eriksen.
And worse, Inter would be more than happy to release Eriksen before the transfer window closes on October 5 reports in Italy suggests he’s been offered to Premier League clubs, but with little interest.
Conte has used Eriksen sparingly since his arrival in January because he didn’t want to sign him
Conte wanted Inter to sign Vidal in January, but the hierarchy went for Eriksen
While Spurs fans may be tempted to indulge in a bit of gloating, it’s worth remembering that this isn’t all Eriksen’s fault.
With an immediate drawback of not being the signed Conte he wanted when he just arrived, any hope of getting some rhythm into his game was hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
As Serie A and wider Italy closed, Eriksen had yet to find a home for his young family and at one point considered asking Romelu Lukaku or Ashley Young if he could sleep on their couch.
Eventually, when his city center hotel closed, Eriksen was billeted into accommodation at Inter’s training complex, but while his teammates had gyms to keep up, he kept jogging around a parking garage because he couldn’t technically go. Outside.
“I ran around the basement and figured I could run 100 feet, then take a turn and run back 150,” he said.
‘[When I tried to go to the supermarket], the police stopped me and in my rather bad Italian I had to explain what I was doing, where I was going and why I was out of home. ‘
Eriksen was forced to move to the Appiano Gentile training complex, 40 kilometers north of Milan
The Dane kept his condition by running sprints in a parking garage during the closing
The fact that Conte wanted Vidal above Eriksen in the January window had become abundantly clear as he was unable to keep a place in the team.
Eriksen can be forgiven for thinking he has been conned. Inter’s hierarchy pulled out all the stops to lure him in, but Conte only had one conversation with him before the move and that has proved more important.
Since the beginning of February, Eriksen has started just eight of Inter’s 17 league games and one in the Italian Cup.
And in the Europa League, he was played from the start of Inter’s round of 32 games against Bulgarians Ludogorets.
But when it came to the final stages – Getafe in the last 16, Bayer Leverkusen in the quarter-finals and Shakhtar Donetsk in the semi-finals – Eriksen only played a small part off the bench.
In the final against Sevilla, trailing 3-2 to Inter, he was thrown alongside Alexis Sanchez and Victor Moses by just 12 minutes to save the situation.
Eriksen was close to winning a trophy in the Europa League but Inter lost 3-2 to Sevilla
Eriksen started on the bench for the Cologne final and was only deployed at death
Four goals and three assists from 17 games isn’t quite the return one of the world’s foremost attacking midfielders had hoped for.
The signs are not very promising for the current season either. Eriksen scored twice in a friendly win against Pisa on Saturday, but then Vidal’s arrival was announced on Monday and there are no prizes to guess who will start their season opener against Fiorentina this weekend.
Vidal may be five years older than Eriksen at 33, but the Chilean is preferred by Conte to play the box-to-box role in which he is a specialist.
There’s also the factor of enduring affection from their time teaming up at Juventus, where Vidal won three consecutive Serie A titles under Conte’s leadership.
Conte, who has demanded more control over transfers, knows from experience that Vidal can be trusted to play the kind of football he wants from his Inter team.
Vidal laughs in Inter training after completing his transfer from Barcelona this week
He is reunited with Conte after winning three Serie A titles together at Juventus
Eriksen said in June that Italy had yet to see its true potential, but it’s tempting to wonder if it will ever happen.
By lowering the pecking order, he could very easily lose another season when he should be in his splendor.
Further complicating matters is that Eriksen made a statement to Inter in January and so they want to get all their money back if they move him. But that would be to assume the interest is there.
Eriksen could thus remain in limbo while Inter’s new season kicks off. Not playing, not being able to move and wondering how the nightmare will end.