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How Eriksen convinced Conte to become a key player at Inter Milan

Christian Eriksen is on the brink of winning the Serie A title with Inter Milan
Christian Eriksen is on the brink of winning the Serie A title with Inter Milan
Aaron Gales
ANALYST
Modified 17 Apr 2021
Feature

Christian Eriksen signed for Inter Milan in January 2020 to win trophies. Seven and a half seasons at Tottenham Hotspur were productive on a personal level for Eriksen as he made 305 appearances for the English club.

He scored 69 goals and made 90 assists in that time to make Spurs a top-4 team in England. He was twice named Tottenham Hotspur Player of the Year and was voted into the PFA Team of the Year in 2017-18.

However, despite coming close on a number of occasions, Christian Eriksen never won any silverware during his time at the club.

Eriksen was a key part of the side that reached the League Cup final in 2015, the UEFA Champions League final in 2019 and finished second in the Premier League in 2016-17. Unfortunately though, they never managed to get over the line and claim that elusive silverware.

Christian Eriksen looks dejected after losing the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League final to Liverpool
Christian Eriksen looks dejected after losing the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League final to Liverpool

In the summer of 2019, with just a year left on his contract, Christian Eriksen made it clear that he wished to pursue a new challenge. He eventually got his wish and joined Antonio Conte's Inter Milan in January 2020.

However, Eriksen's transition to life in Italy was a difficult one. Antonio Conte was struggling to find a place for him in his first team, before the Covid-19 pandemic called a temporary halt to the season.

When football resumed in Italy, Christian Eriksen found himself on the periphery of Conte's plans and played just 12 minutes in the Europa League final defeat to Sevilla as he found himself the reluctant owner of yet another runner-up medal.

Christian Eriksen tasted defeat in the 2019-20 UEFA Europa League final
Christian Eriksen tasted defeat in the 2019-20 UEFA Europa League final

Christian Eriksen got more of the same treatment as the 2020-21 season began.

During a 10-game spell between December 2020 and February 2021 Eriksen found himself on the bench, or worse, more often than not. In fact, he only played in 2 of those 10 games.

It led to him being persistently linked with a loan move to other clubs during the January transfer window.

How Eriksen turned it around at Inter Milan

However, Eriksen remained with Inter Milan and started to turn things around.

Every good comeback story needs a turning point and Christian Eriksen's came in the Coppa Italia quarter-final against AC Milan.

Tied at 1-1 the game went into extra time and just two minutes after coming on Eriksen curled a wonderful free kick into the top corner to secure his side's passage to the semi-finals.

That tremendous free kick has led to a vastly increased role for Christian Eriksen within Conte's team. Eriksen has featured heavily in Inter Milan's nine-game winning run in Serie A, starting seven of those matches and coming off the bench in the other two.

This has left Inter Milan 11 points clear at the top of the league table with just eight matches to play. Christian Eriksen looks set to finally add to the collection of three league titles he won during his time with Ajax.

The league winner's medal is the least Christian Eriksen deserves for his perseverance in overcoming the doubts of Antonio Conte and becoming a key part of the Inter Milan side.

Published 17 Apr 2021
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