Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has admitted uncertainty surrounding the future of Christian Eriksen could affect his selection policy regarding the Denmark international.
The 27-year-old playmaker started on the bench in Mourinho’s first game at West Ham, coming on for the final 11 minutes as Spurs held on to a 3-2 win.
Will Mourinho play Eriksen? Five key things to know…
- Eriksen is in the final year of his present Tottenham contract.
- Mourinho succeeded Mauricio Pochettino as Spurs boss during the recent international break.
- The former Man Utd manager signed a three-year contract and has been keen to stress the importance of a long-term project.
- Mourinho left the Danish playmaker out of his starting XI for his opening game at West Ham.
- The Portuguese has praised Eriksen’s professionalism but suggested his future must be taken into account when selecting his team.
Eriksen entered this season with one year left on his present deal, having also explicitly stated during the summer that he was keen to embark on a new challenge.
If he fails to agree to a new extension, the former Ajax academy graduate will be able to speak to prospective new employers in January before leaving north London as a free agent next summer.
This means incoming Spurs boss Mourinho, who succeeded Pochettino during the recent international break, must consider whether to put his faith in a player who may not stick around for too much longer.
Mourinho penned a long-term contract himself and has concedes doubts over Eriksen being here in 12 months time has already influenced how he’s going about choosing his first choice team but stresses the Dane’s professionalism has been nothing but exemplary.
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“My decisions about starting him or not starting, selecting or not select, will be based on a perspective of a future,” he told reporters.
“I cannot hide that. We have a present and in football we have to focus on the present, in this case the game against Olympiakos, but it’s a club where you have to think about the future. These important decisions, obviously, they have an influence on my decisions as a head coach.
“Christian is a proper guy, loves the club, loves his colleagues, amazing colleague in the dressing room. So it doesn’t matter what – he’s one of us until the last day.
“The important thing is that he’s committed with us, so let’s not talk about his future. Is he leaving? Is he staying? Let’s talk about his commitment for the club and for his colleagues and for the project. He’s with us.”
Spurs host Olympiacos in the Champions League on Tuesday evening and will take a big step towards the knockout stages with victory over the Greek outfit.
Harry Kane is guaranteed to start under Mourinho but Eriksen faces competition from Son-Heung min, Lucas Moura, Dele Alli and Giovani Lo Celso for one of three midfield roles behind the England striker.