Ten Hag reacts to Eriksen injury news

Tuesday 31 January 2023 12:34

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has reacted to the news Christian Eriksen will be out of action for an extended period due to injury.

The Denmark international sustained an ankle problem during the Emirates FA Cup win over Reading following a late challenge by Andy Carroll.

While investigations are continuing, it was confirmed this morning that Eriksen is likely to be unavailable until late April or early May. 

There is hope that Christian can return to action in time to play in the final stages of the season and Reds around the world are wishing him well in his recovery. 

During a press conference to preview our Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Nottingham Forest, Ten Hag began by addressing the news. “Of course, he is disappointed about it, we are disappointed about it,” he said. “It happens in top football, you have to deal with it.”

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Ten Hag then addressed the challenges posed by Eriksen’s absence and appeared to play down any suggestion that United might move for a replacement on transfer deadline day. 

Speaking to reporters, Erik stated: “As you said, something coming out on deadline day is difficult and you can't make policy on such bad injuries but we have players in the midfield department, good players, we also have players who can fill the gap.”
When pressed further on somebody being able to replicate Christian’s characteristics, Ten Hag continued: “Yeah, but I think you can never fill that because every player has their own characteristics and identity, so another player will always fill it in in a different way. 

“So, it doesn't mean that you have to be less successful but it's quite clear that Christian Eriksen, for our squad, brings top quality and he has some specifics that are hard to replace. For instance, his impact in the final third, [with his] final ball.”

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The manager was then asked about Fred’s successful midfield partnership with Casemiro for Brazil and whether that could be replicated at United in the second half of the campaign. 

"You mentioned already in your first sentence, he's playing together with Casemiro in the Brazilian squad, I would say that's not the worse squad in the world,” said the boss. 

“They have so many choices what they can make but they often prefer to play them together. So, that tells something about the quality Fred has and what he can contribute to the team. 

“He has done it several times with his performance, for instance, against Tottenham Hotspur, for instance, against Manchester City. When he's coming on [in the] last game [against Reading], he's scoring a goal straight away. He has a lot of qualities. I think they are a really good combination, Casemiro and Fred.”