Eriksen: I was dreaming of this last year

Wednesday 19 April 2023 21:48

Christian Eriksen admits his current situation with Manchester United was the stuff of dreams this time last year, when he was easing his way back into football at Brentford after eight months out of the game.

The Danish midfielder was asked how it felt on a personal level to be pursuing trophies again, when he joined Erik ten Hag at the club's pre-match press conference for the Europa League quarter-final second leg against Sevilla.

"Looking back, a year ago, I was dreaming about where I am today," replied Eriksen.
Watch Ten Hag and Eriksen’s press conference Video

Watch Ten Hag and Eriksen’s press conference

Press conference | Erik ten Hag and Christian Eriksen preview our Europa League quarter-final second leg v Sevilla…

"Back then, it was just a dream of being back playing football and then of course taking it step by step and just being the best version of a football player you can be. And I was lucky at the time that the manager wanted me to come here.

"I'm enjoying it - I did a year ago, but I'm doing it even more now. To go as far as possible will be fun. And where we are now, already with a trophy, with aims for two more, it'll be good fun."
Eriksen had to endure another spell on the sidelines this year, after he sustained ankle damage in a challenge by Reading forward Andy Carroll, during an Emirates FA Cup fourth-round tie at Old Trafford on 28 January.

Less than three months later, the elegant midfielder is back in business and he made his first start since the injury last Sunday, when helping United to win 2-0 away to Nottingham Forest in the Premier League.

"I was surprised he [Carroll] didn't get a yellow card," said Christian, when asked abou the incident.

"At the time I didn't think it was as bad so I didn't fear for the season. I was more concerned about when [in the season] I was going to be back. The medical staff have done very well, they've kept me in good shape and now it's like I never left so it's a positive for the medical staff."

Ten Hag's team news for Sevilla second leg


Erik has been asked if Malacia, Rashford, Sabitzer and Shaw are likely to be involved in Spain.

Eriksen was initially meant to be on the substitutes' bench again for the trip to Forest but he was promoted to the XI when Marcel Sabitzer, who was effectively signed in the January transfer window to cover for his absence, picked up a problem during the warm-up.

Now that Sabitzer is available again, having travelled to Spain in Ten Hag's 21-man squad, there's a chance the Dane and Austrian could start in the same side with fellow midfielder Bruno Fernandes taking a rare turn out of the team due to suspension.

"Marcel has done unbelievable while I've been away," praised Eriksen.

"Everyone tries to do their job, tries to fit in as well as possible. Fred has done well, and Scott [McTominay] when he was playing.

"I think I've played with them all but I've only trained a few times with Marcel because he came in after I was injured. He's a very good player."

Casemiro, Eriksen, Fernandes: Unbeaten trio


As our list of games shows, United have never lost when our nos 8, 14 and 18 have started together.

Statistics highlighted earlier this week show that Eriksen is yet to lose as a United player when he has started in the same line-up as Fernandes and Casemiro. That run now spans 17 games and Christian is naturally keen for that to continue when the trio next team up.

"I didn't even know we had that many games without losing but it's obviously something in the near future, when Bruno isn't suspended, that we want to keep going.

"I think this midfield is one of the best I've been part of. As I said after the [Forest] game, they are two very good football players so for me it's easy and I think for anyone to fill in that extra gap between them has been easy.

"We're missing Bruno tomorrow but when I was away, someone had to pick my duties up and it will be the same tomorrow. Someone will have to pick up the gap that he's leaving behind."