Here we go again, with transfer speculation building, the press is licking their lips at the approaching month of January and already, they are looking to spice things up. The latest story doing the rounds involves a swap deal with former Spurs player Christian Eriksen considering a move to the Emirates and Granit Xhaka heading in the opposite direction to Inter Milan.
According to reports from Corriere dello Sport via Daily Mail, the Serie A team is hoping to find a swap deal for Eriksen, and Arsenal’s Swiss international Granit Xhaka has come under their radar as a possible replacement. Manchester United midfielder Fred and Leandro Paredes of PSG are also being mentioned.
Eriksen has struggled since his £17.5m move to Inter Milan with few opportunities to showcase his talent under, the extremely hard to please, Antonio Conte. The attacking midfielder was considered to be a huge loss for Arsenal’s neighbours at a time when the Gunners’ closest rival succumbed to a period of infighting and a divided dressing room.
Things came to a head when it was rumoured that teammate Jan Vertonghen had an affair with Eriksen’s wife, something that was strenuously denied by both parties. Eriksen moved soon after to reinvigorate his career but it just hasn’t worked out, so a swap deal between Eriksen and Xhaka could be on the cards. Will he move to the Premier League?
Hard to say because Eriksen had to endure some unpleasant banter at several football grounds before the move and he knows that fans have long memories. Is it another Mkhitaryan deal in the making? No, nothing could be as bad as that deal. What a stinker!
Would he move to Arsenal? He has never expressed any anti-Arsenal sentiment and as a professional player, he will go to a club that best serves his talent.
Can Arsenal afford him? Yes, his transfer value may be less than the £17.5m Inter Milan paid for him Pre-Covid, and the wages are only £100,000 a week. I can’t believe I said ‘only.’
Is he the type of player Arsenal need? Hmm…that’s the big question. There’s no doubt that Eriksen is an extremely good player and for Arsenal’s nearest rivals, he was a resounding success in the middle of a three-man midfield or out on the left.
He is probably thought of as a traditional attacking number 10 and he excels when given free license to wander from any conventional role. He can find spaces and provide a ball that asks questions of the opposing defences and he can also support the attack, often by scoring goals.
His game suffered when he was given more defensive duties under Mourinho and the goals dropped off as a result, but he performed to a consistently high standard even though he was robbed of his chance to showcase the fancy stuff.
Moreover, the Gunners are not very enthusiastic about a swap deal involving Xhaka and Eriksen. The Swiss midfielder is a key part of Arteta’s plans, despite the summer signing of Thomas Partey. Here’s the AD acid test:-
Eriksen or Szoboszlai? Szoboszlai.
Eriksen or Aouar? Aouar.
Eriksen or Grealish? Grealish.
That will tell you what you need to know, although Eriksen is talented and can be a class act, he’s not my idea of a good fit. He’s also not my type of Arsenal player I’m afraid. The Gunners need a grafter but they also need someone who can get fans excited with a range of skills. Eriksen just doesn’t do that for me or many others, it would be a ‘meh’ signing at best.