Former Tottenham midfielder Jamie Redknapp has described Christian Eriksen as a “game-changer”.
Spurs were 0-1 down to Aston Villa before Eriksen was introduced, who helped turn the game around and hand Tottenham a 3-1 opening day victory.
Five things to know about Spurs 3-1 Aston Villa…
- Villa took a shock 9th-minute lead through John McGinn.
- Spurs were frustrated for large spells of the game.
- Record signing Tanguy Ndombele curled in a sublime equaliser with 20 minutes to go.
- A Harry Kane brace won the game for Pochettino’s men.
- Villa’s Jack Grealish has now lost 19 Premier League games in a row.
Speaking during Sky Sports’ post-match analysis, Redknapp made it clear who he thought made the difference for Spurs.
He said: “Until Eriksen came onto the field, I didn’t see Spurs winning that game. Mauricio [Pochettino] said they were better second half: I’m not so sure.
“When he came onto the pitch the tempo changed, the pace of passing changed. You could see every time a Spurs player got the ball, be it at the back or up front, the first person they looked for was him. He changed the whole tempo of the game. It was more to do with him that Spurs improved than anything else.
“They’ve got no Dele Alli and no Son, so they are missing important players. I know he had a groin injury in the summer, but he showed his importance to that team today. Players like him are few and far between; players who can get on the ball, players who can make things happen. I was so impressed with him.”
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Is Eriksen disposable?
It appeared unlikely at the start of the summer transfer window that Eriksen would remain a Spurs player. The player himself confirmed that his future may not lie in North London but, as the new season starts, the Dane remains at Tottenham.
Of course, the most rumoured potential buyers Real Madrid have more time to make their move if they choose to do so, and while it’s rare that English clubs sell abroad after the domestic window shuts, Eriksen will be available on a free transfer next summer.
Spurs were sub-standard on Saturday without the likes of Alli and Son, opting to start with Lucas and Erik Lamela playing behind Harry Kane as new signing Giovani Lo Celso began the game on the bench alongside Eriksen, who replaced Harry Winks in the second half.
It was Kane who scored the goals, but Eriksen’s influence did not go unnoticed. The Dane has provided 10 assists or more in four consecutive seasons. Only David Beckham can match that feat. If he can make it five, who knows where Spurs will end up by next May.