Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag was asked about signing a new midfielder on transfer deadline day, following news that Christian Eriksen has been ruled out with an ankle injury until late April or early May.
Ahead of Manchester United’s Carabao Cup semi-final clash against Nottingham Forest, the club issued a statement confirming Eriksen would be out for three months.
The Denmark international will be a huge loss to United as he’s set to miss several games, including the two legs against Barcelona in the Europa League.
United are now short in the midfield department, with Donny van de Beek ruled out until the end of the season, but Ten Hag is not expecting any new arrivals on deadline day.
Ten Hag has now provided a negative update by stressing the Red Devils are unlikely to add to their squad before tonight’s 11pm deadline.
“As you said, on deadline day it’s difficult, you can’t make policy on such bad injuries,” Ten Hag told reporters, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News. “But we have players in the midfield department. Good players. We have players who can fill the gap.”
The manager added: “Of course, he’s disappointed, we are disappointed, but it happens in top football, soon it happens, but it did, and you have to deal with it.
“I think you can never fill that (gap) because every player has his own characteristics, identity, another player will always fill in a different way, but it doesn’t mean you have to be less successful.
“It’s quite clear Christian Eriksen brings top quality to our squad and he has some specifics that are hard to replace, such as his impacts in the final third with his final ball.”
Huge blow to be without Christian Eriksen for three months. Would be shocked if there was an emergency arrival to fill the role between now and tonight's deadline. Big few months for Fred?
— Dale O'Donnell (@ODonnellDale) January 31, 2023
I think we can expect Fred to start more games over the next three months in Eriksen’s absence. He already plays in the same midfielder as Casemiro for Brazil and Ten Hag is keeping note of that for the upcoming games.
“I think you mentioned already in your first sermon he’s playing together with Casemiro in the Brazil squad, there’s not a worse squad in the world, they have so many choices they can make, but they play together and that tells something about the quality Fred has and what he can contribute to the team,” he said.
“You see against Tottenham and Man City, when he’s coming on last game he scores a goal, he has a lot of qualities, and they’re a good combination, Casemiro and Fred.”