Should Real Madrid sign Christian Eriksen in January?
Background image: I, Elemaki, CC BY-SA 2.5
Real Madrid currently sits top of the La Liga table but that doesn't mean all is well with Zinedine Zidane's team. The Merengues have been blowing hot and cold this term. In fact, a mixed pre-season, coupled with several dodgy performances in both the domestic and European football, have made many wonder if the club hierarchy made a mistake by bringing back the French manager.
The biggest problem has been in midfield as the likes of Luka Modric, Casemiro and Toni Kroos have not been at their brilliant best. Having achieved so much together in the past few years, it appears the law of diminishing returns has set in.
It becomes understandable why Zidane was reported to be interested in recruiting a top-class midfielder in the summer. Paul Pogba was the name most linked with the club while Sporting Lisbon's Bruno Fernandes and Tottenham's Christian Eriksen were the other players speculated to be headed to the Spanish side. In the end, none moved to the Santiago Bernabeu - leaving Zidane somewhat short-handed.
With Manchester United unwilling to let Pogba go, it’s unlikely that a move for Zidane's countryman will transpire. Landing Sporting’s Fernandes will require a huge cash outlay. Having spent big in the summer to sign several players including Eden Hazard, Madrid could find a better alternative in Eriksen.
The Dane has not hidden his desire to play in Spain. A call from either of Zidane or Florentino Perez will be highly welcomed by the Tottenham man. But will Spurs stand by and watch their prized asset leave just like that? Well, the North London side is in a difficult position in that regard. As much as Daniel Levy will want to extract the biggest fee he can for his players, Eriksen’s contract runs out in the summer.
Having failed to agree to fresh terms, the 27-year-old is free to talk to other clubs from January and will walk away nothing next summer. Tottenham will have to accept a cut-price deal for the player in the mid-season window or risk losing him for nothing next June.
That puts the odds firmly in Madrid’s favour. But the Denmark captain is a wanted man, and if left to wind down his contract to leave in the summer, that could spark a bidding war that could turn Eriksen's head. By so doing, he can decide to head in the direction of the largest pay packet.
That's exactly why Real Madrid cannot wait until the summer and must act quickly.
Moreover, signing Eriksen in January will help strengthen the team to give a better fight for the league title. Despite sitting at the top, the team’s performance in the period has been less than satisfactory. With Barcelona gradually getting back to form as Lionel Messi works towards full fitness, the Catalan side could run away with the league title for yet another year if they're allowed to do so.
Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid cannot be ruled out, either. Although the new crop of players available to the Argentine gaffer are still adjusting to his tactics and playing style, sooner or later, the team will seek to stake a claim for the title. Julen Lopetegui is also leading an uprising in Sevilla. Determined to restore his reputation after suffering humiliation from both the Spanish Football Federation and Real Madrid, the 53-year-old will go the extra mile to push the big-boys as hard as they can.
With the competition ramped up, Zidane needs his team to be as strong as possible. Acquiring Eriksen will help in that regard. The former Ajax midfielder remains one of the best around. Tottenham's struggles this season can be directly linked to the fact that he has not been that stabilising force that he has been over the years. Pochettino hasn't helped matters either, by talking tough instead of encouraging his players to focus on the task at hand.
It's clear Eriksen will be hugely missed when he finally departs from the London side. A superbly creative player that pulls the strings in the middle of the park, while bringing out the best from his front men. Tottenham's loss could be Madrid's gain. Los Blancos are in need of goals and Eriksen could be the man to spark a revival...