The confirmation of Nicolo Barella’s injury was bad news for Inter. The Italian had come across the problem in the club’s 3-0 win over Torino and just about everyone was fearing the worst. While it isn’t too worse, but it leaves the Inter midfield even more light.
With Stefano Sensi also struggling with his fitness, it is a very concerning situation. Marcelo Brozovic has been playing every game this season and a time will come when the club will have to rest him. Matias Vecino, Borja Valero and Roberto Gagliardini aren’t players who can elevate the level of that midfield either.
Links with many midfielders have come up in recent weeks. The most recent one concerns Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen, whose future has been up in the air since the summer.
A report from FCInterNews states that the Nerazzurri recently met Eriksen’s agent Martin Schoots in an attempt to know about a possible free transfer next summer. The Dane’s current deal runs out at the end of the season.
He has been accused of not playing up to his mark because of a lack of commitment. He has made only seven starts this season, scoring once and assisting once. Mauricio Pochettion was keen on letting him go, but new Spurs manager Jose Mourinho recently said:
“My decisions about starting him or not starting, selecting or not select, will be based on a perspective of a future. I cannot hide that. We have a present and in football we have to focus on the present, in this case the game against Olympiakos, but it’s a club where you have to think about the future. These important decisions, obviously, they have an influence on my decisions as a head coach.”
These are clear signs that Eriksen isn’t keen on signing a new deal at Spurs. Eriksen did go public about it in the summer and that just shows that his heart isn’t really in North London.
Inter should be looking at that and feel that there is every chance of getting him. Last season, Eriksen showed his versatility in the middle of the park for Spurs. He played as the third midfielder in a 4-3-3 shape, often donning the role of a wide player or playing in his preferred attacking midfield role.
In the 292 games Eriksen has played for Spurs, he has a tally of 87 assists. That is more than Mesut Ozil’s tally of 75 and both of them came to England at the same time. Eriksen’s ability to pick out passes and dictate play from behind the front three has been one of the best in Europe over the last few years.
But he is versatile and can have a very good engine too, his coaches from Ajax told the Athletic. But Inter would look at that and feel that Conte might be happy with a player like him.
The most important thing about Sensi is that he is a defensive midfielder originally. At Sassuolo last season, he was the deepest midfielder under Roberto De Zerbi at Sassuolo. In between games, he has been exchanging positions at Inter too. Something that benefits Conte’s pragmatic system.
Eriksen may not play as deeper as Sensi, but he allows control in games. He can take hold of possession and conduct play from wherever he plays. That is the sort of control Inter been lacking in the absence of Sensi. Eriksen played 2.1 key passes per game last season, playing 53 passes per game
The Italian sustained the injury against Juventus- a game that Inter went onto lose. Since then, their form has not been as spotless as it was. Conte has been vocal about lack of depth and he is right about it.
While Eriksen would be the right move considering Sensi’s versatility, wages could be the problem. The FCInterNews report claims that Eriksen’s wage demands stand at €10 million net per season. Inter currently pay €9million to Romelu Lukaku. But to challenge on all fronts, they have to make some compromises. No transfer fee will be involved and the lack of it can be a key part of Eriksen’s wage.