Mauricio Pochettino should start Christian Eriksen despite speculation linking the midfielder with a move away, according to former Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp.
Eriksen, who has just one year left on his contract, has been the subject of intense transfer speculation since admitting he may seek a new challenge this summer.
Why is Pochettino leaving Eriksen out? Five key things to know…
- Eriksen hinted he may seek an exit from Spurs back in June.
- The midfielder has one year left on his contract and has been linked with Real Madrid.
- Pochettino left Eriksen out of the Tottenham starting XIs against Aston Villa and Newcastle United.
- But the 27-year-old was handed a start against Manchester City and came off the bench in the other matches.
- Pochettino has said his squad is “unsettled” – likely referring to speculation surrounding the future of Eriksen and others.
Real Madrid have been strongly linked with the Spurs playmaker in the past, but there is no suggestion the La Liga giants are set to make their move before Monday’s transfer deadline.
Pochettino has left Eriksen out of the starting line-up in two of Tottenham’s three league games so far this season, and Redknapp believes the current Spurs boss is making a mistake with his selections.
“Pochettino left Eriksen out of the first game against Villa, and he turned the game on its head when he came on and they got the win,” Redknapp told talkSPORT.
“But then he leaves him out again against Newcastle at the weekend, it’s a strange one.
“Without Dele Alli, Eriksen is the only player Spurs have got who can make that final pass. Why was he on the bench?
“I know he wants to go, but while he’s there I’d still be looking to play him to win games.
“If there is a problem with him, why bring him on, just because you’re in trouble?”
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“I had the same problem with Modric”
Redknapp went on to compare Eriksen’s situation to the conundrum he faced with Luka Modric, who almost left Tottenham for Chelsea in the summer of 2011.
Modric eventually left for Real Madrid a year later, but Redknapp did not leave the Croatian out of the team despite the fact he appeared to be trying to force a move across London.
Redknapp added: “He (Eriksen) doesn’t look like a lad who is going to cause a problem does he? He’s come on and tried. He looks a good sort of boy to me.
“I had the same problem with Luka Modric when Chelsea came in for him, but he still played. Even though Chelsea were offering to double his money, he got on with it. He stayed, played and was fantastic.
“Eriksen looks the same type to me. He’s not a troublemaker, he’s a fantastic footballer and seems like a great lad.”
There is a chance Eriksen will play his final game for Spurs in Sunday’s north London derby against Arsenal.