Tottenham Hotspur appears to be prepared for life after Christian Eriksen. Almost every transfer window comes with speculation surrounding the Denmark international.
Eriksen is a reported target for Real Madrid who could break the bank to make him the next Galactico. The 27-year-old has just one year left on his current deal with talks over a new one unsuccessful, despite going on for over a year.
Even if the proposed switch to Spain ultimately fails to go through and with the Premier League window shut, the Dane isn’t short of admirers. Bayern Munich has also expressed interest.
Although Mauricio Pochettino is desperate to keep the midfielder, the North London side have already signed his potential replacement. Giovani Lo Celso.
Make no mistake, Eriksen will be a massive loss for Spurs and perhaps irreplaceable. Since arrival in 2013, no player created more chances. Aside from the ex-Ajax prodigy, none assisted at least 10 goals in four consecutive seasons. The attacking midfielder is simply a genius at crafting opportunities for his teammates.
A modern-day orchestrator, Eriksen is dangerous from long-range, scoring more goals than any other Premier League player from outside the box since his debut. He is two-footed, with at least 20 league goals with both feet. His ability to play anywhere across the final third has been precious.
On top of that, he is a hard-worker, regularly clocking the highest running distances in his side. Overlooked also is his fitness record, an underrated attribute, with Eriksen playing at least 35 league games since Pochettino’s arrival.
However, his desperation for a fresh challenge opened the doors for Lo Celso to join on loan from Real Betis. While Eriksen possesses excellent vision with an eye for that killer pass, the Argentine is a more proficient dribbler and tends to operate at his best when dropping deeper and getting on the half-turn.
Lo Celso loves to take aim at goal when the opportunity presents itself. In the 46 occasions he turned out for Real Betis last season, he scored 16 goals and supplied numerous assists. Like Eriksen, he is proficient in the art of finding pockets of space between the lines.
Ever willing to receive the ball, the Argentinian enjoys the responsibility of setting the tempo and rhythm, and his associative play with other forwards is first class. This was illustrated at the last COPA America where he dovetailed with Lionel Messi.
An intelligent footballer, Lo Celso loves to attack at every given opportunity. He is most comfortable in possession of the ball and has that gift of always being able to find space, even in the most crowded of midfield. He isn’t the one to take too many risks, though, preferring to take the simple option if it’s available.
Should Eriksen eventually stay, it would be interesting to see how Pochettino utilises the pair. Lo Celso will most likely drop deeper to accommodate the Dane playmaker or perhaps both alongside Dele Alli will be deployed behind Harry Kane.
Whatever the case may be, with Lo Celso, Spurs need not lose sleep over Eriksen’s potential exit. Not anymore.
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