Man Utd sign Denmark international Christian Eriksen; midfielder turns down offer from Brentford to sign three-year deal at Old Trafford; Eriksen: "Manchester United is a special club, and I cannot wait to get started"
Saturday 16 July 2022 08:09, UK
Manchester United have completed the signing of Christian Eriksen on a three-year deal following a rigorous medical.
The 30-year-old has strengthened Erik ten Hag's midfield options at Old Trafford after opting against remaining at Brentford, where he enjoyed an impressive stint on loan last season.
Denmark international Eriksen will not join United's pre-season tour of Australia due to the long flight involved from the UK.
The move sees Eriksen reunite with Ten Hag, who helped facilitate the midfielder's return from the cardiac arrest he suffered at Euro 2020 by inviting him to train with Ajax during his rehabilitation.
"Manchester United is a special club, and I cannot wait to get started," said Eriksen. "I have had the privilege of playing at Old Trafford many times but to do it in the red shirt of United will be an amazing feeling.
"I have seen Erik's work at Ajax and know the level of detail and preparation that he and his staff put into every day. It is clear that he is a fantastic coach. Having spoken with him and learned more about his vision and the way he wants the team to play, I am even more excited for the future.
"I still have major ambitions in the game, there is a huge amount that I know I can achieve, and this is the perfect place to continue my journey."
John Murtough, Manchester United's football director, added: "Christian has been one of the best attacking midfielders in Europe throughout his career. It is no surprise that he had so many options this summer, so we are really happy that he was convinced that this is the right club for him.
"In addition to his outstanding technique, Christian will add valuable experience and leadership skills to the squad, and we are looking forward to seeing the benefits of these qualities on the pitch this coming season and beyond."
United were patient in their pursuit of Eriksen and put no pressure on the midfielder for a decision, as they understood his choice would be based on more than just football.
Eriksen was settled in London with his family at Brentford, but has been attracted by the prospect of working under Ten Hag and being part of United's new era under the Dutchman.
Sky Sports News senior reporter Melissa Reddy:
"Eriksen and Man Utd had a verbal agreement, which was subject to a medical.
"He's had a very successful, very rigorous check-up, and now they have announced a three-year deal, which everyone is really happy about because Ten Hag was quite keen to fortify his midfield options.
"It felt like that area has been dragging, especially with the Frenkie de Jong pursuit, but this gets them closer to what Ten Hag wants, which is technically gifted players that can control a game with the ball."
Sky Sports' Sam Blitz:
There was no surprise that Eriksen had elite-level suitors after his successful half-season stint at Brentford. The midfielder completely changed the fortunes of Thomas Frank's side, who went from relegation candidates to mid-table security within weeks of Eriksen's first involvement.
United would have been enthused by how Eriksen completely enhanced Ivan Toney's game in west London last season.
The Brentford striker's goals per game and Expected Goals ratios doubled when Eriksen began starting games for the Bees, while Toney's number of shots per game and touches in the box improved during that period with the midfielder in the team.
Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford - both of whom have been scoring goals for Erik Ten Hag's side in pre-season - and possibly even Cristiano Ronaldo can receive similar treatment from Eriksen at Old Trafford this term.
Eriksen's arrival will also relieve some of the pressure on Bruno Fernandes in the attacking midfield role, especially considering rotation will be needed to mount a serious challenge for the Europa League.
At the back end of the season, the Denmark international created more assists and chances than both of United's most creatives midfielders in Fernandes and Fred last season, while the loss of Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard has meant some midfield creativity was needed.
Eriksen became Man Utd's second signing of the summer, following the arrival of Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord - and addition number three could be announced very shortly.
On Friday evening, Ajax centre back Lisandro Martinez posted an image on his Instagram account of him and his agent on a plane with the caption "heading to Manchester", with a £45m switch nearing completion.
Who will be on the move this summer when the transfer window opens on June 10 and closes at 11pm on September 1?
Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.
Erik ten Hag's first Premier League game as Manchester United manager will be against Brighton at Old Trafford, live on Sky Sports, on the opening Super Sunday of the 2022/23 season.
After facing Graham Potter's Seagulls on Sunday, August 7, live on Sky Sports, United travel to Brentford in the second round of fixtures before hosting rivals Liverpool in a blockbuster early-season clash on August 22, live on Sky Sports.
United's trip to the Etihad Stadium for the first Manchester derby of the season on October 1 kicks off a daunting month which sees Ten Hag's side travel to Everton and Chelsea and host Tottenham, Newcastle and West Ham.
The final game before the season pauses for the winter World Cup will be against Fulham on the weekend of November 12/13. United then return to action on Boxing Day at home to Nottingham Forest.
2023 will be ushered in by a home match against promoted Bournemouth. Premier League champions Manchester City are next up at Old Trafford on January 14, the return trip to Anfield on March 4, while United conclude their season at home to Fulham on May 28.