Tottenham manager Antonio Conte is being advised to avoid the temptation to bring Christian Eriksen back to the club this summer – and put all his energies into the signing of a £60m alternative.
The classy Dane is back to his best after a remarkable 10 months. Having collapsed at Euro 2020 following a cardiac arrest, it would not have surprised anyone had Eriksen decided to call time on his career. Instead – and upon medical advice – Eriksen signed a short-term deal at Brentford in January.
And he has looked back to his best at the Bees. Indeed, Brentford are yet to lose a game in which Eriksen has started. And his return to form has seen a number of sides being linked with his signature.
Thomas Frank, Brentford’s manager, has made clear his desire to see him extend his stay.
However, interest from Spurs – as well as Crystal Palace, Everton, Aston Villa and West Ham – threatens their chances. Furthermore, Newcastle are reportedly ready to make Eriksen the fulcrum of their side amid big plans on Tyneside.
All said, there are some who feel a Spurs return for Eriksen would not make sense. He struggled to recapture his best form under Conte during their time together at Inter Milan.
Furthermore, pundit Noel Whelan has advised Spurs to instead focus on another creative midfield target.
To that end, Spurs are reportedly rivalling Arsenal for the £60m signature of Leicester’s James Maddison.
Maddison can replace Christian Eriksen magic
Asked if Maddison would be a good addition for Spurs, Whelan made his feelings clear to Football Insider.
“Absolutely,” he said. “He’s a very intelligent attacking player. He scores goals, gets loads of assists, and he’s a player Tottenham have been crying out for.
“They got Giovani Lo Celso after Christian Eriksen left – that never worked out. They’re really missing that midfield player who has an eye for a killer pass.
“He’s proved he can do it in the Premier League by being a very important piece of the puzzle for Leicester.
“I think he would suit Tottenham down to the ground. With that front three in front of him, they could go to the next level with him.”
Maddison is contracted to Leicester until summer 2024, meaning they will likely earn peak value for him by selling him this summer.
The Foxes are, however, in a more immediate fix with Youri Tielemans. His deal expires at Leicester in summer 2023.
Maddison has 40 goals and weighed in with 29 assists in 161 appearances since signing for the Foxes in 2018. That accounts to a goal contribution every 2.3 games – an extremely impressive record.
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