Christian Eriksen will provide chances for Manchester United’s attackers next season after he joined the club on a three-year contract Friday.
The 30-year-old is the second signing of the Erik ten Hag era following last week’s arrival of left-back Tyrell Malacia. United beat Brentford to Eriksen’s signature after he impressively rebuilt his fitness during a half-season spell with the Bees.
The midfielder suffered a cardiac arrest during Denmark’s European Championship opener against Finland in June 2021 and was “gone” – to quote the national team’s doctor – before he was resuscitated on the pitch.
Eriksen was subsequently fitted with a defibrillator and had to leave Inter Milan due to an Italian law restricting exercise with the assistance of a pacemaker. However, he was determined to play on, and, after working on his fitness at former club Odense Boldklub in Denmark, he signed a six-month contract with Brentford to return to the Premier League.
“A few months ago, I started coming back,” he said before his Bees debut in February. “I touched a ball, I’m on a football pitch, smelled the grass, football boots, then everything starts coming back: the excitement to watch games, to be in the stadium, to be involved with the team.”
He returned to the pitch 259 days after his collapse as a substitute in a Premier League visit from Newcastle. He quickly established himself as a creative force for Brentford, scoring once and assisting four times as the west London club moved away from the relegation zone.
Eriksen also smashed in an excellent strike during his first game back for Denmark. Since his return to the national team, the playmaker has contributed two goals and one assist in five appearances.
Denmark is set to compete at the 2022 World Cup. It kicks off its campaign against Tunisia on Nov. 22.
Eriksen’s unveiling at United comes amid an overhaul of their midfield. Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, and Jesse Lingard have already left this summer, and the Red Devils are reportedly working on a move for Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong.
“Manchester United is a special club, and I cannot wait to get started,” Eriksen said. “I have had the privilege of playing at Old Trafford many times but to do it in the red shirt of United will be an amazing feeling.”
United’s top assist-maker in the 2021-22 Premier League season was Pogba with nine, followed by Bruno Fernandes with six. Eriksen set up 12 goals in his last full season with Tottenham Hotspur in 2018-19.