Feyenoord’s Tyrell Malacia is expected to become Manchester United’s first signing of the summer but Christian Eriksen, who is a free agent, is expected to follow shortly after.
The 30-year-old impressed in his six months at Brentford and was offered a deal by United last month. Now, it’s believed that he has accepted that proposal, with transfer expert Fabrizio Romano confirming that a medical has already been scheduled.
Ahead of the imminent deal, former United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard has commented on what Eriksen will bring to the United team, arguing that his qualities will be beneficial on and off the pitch.
“It’s a fairytale story,” Lindegaard is quoted as saying by the BBC. “No-one would have seen that in a crystal ball and I’m just so happy for Christian that he’s been able to make it back in such a great way. I’m very impressed, but not particularly surprised.
“Christian has got a special kind of mentality; a mentality that will suit United very much. He’s not in football for the fame, the money, the luxury lifestyle or showing off. Christian is in football for the love of the game – in a way that I don’t know anyone else is.
“For that reason mainly, he fits very well at United which, looking from the outside, has turned into a club with a lot of diva mentality, a lot of players who have a lot of followers on social media – and you get the sense that becoming a part of Manchester United is part of getting more attention and personal branding.
“Christian comes in as a completely different character. He couldn’t care less about followers on social media. He couldn’t care less about fancy cars or expensive watches. All he cares about is playing football, enjoying football and making it into the beautiful game we all want it to be.”
Lindegaard acted as the understudy to Edwin Van der Sar and David de Gea across five years at the club and also shared a dressing room with Eriksen at international level.
If the last six months are anything to go by, there are obvious mentality issues at Manchester United and Eriksen is the prime example of exactly what they were missing.
The former Tottenham star’s determination to recover from his cardiac arrest just over 12 months ago was inspiring – unlike any performance by United in 2022.
Ten Hag knows Eriksen well, having offered him the chance to train with Ajax during his recovery. He will already have laid out how he would like his midfield to set up and Eriksen evidently fits into his scheme.
It does, however, give him a bit of a selection headache. Eriksen prefers to play further up the pitch but was conditioned to play deeper under Antonio Conte and Thomas Frank. Bruno Fernandes is almost certain to play, leaving other midfielders with more defensive roles.
It remains to be seen what role Eriksen is assigned at United but one thing’s for sure – he certainly meets all the criteria at face value.