(Football news) Premier League club Brentford has signed Denmark and former Inter Milan midfielder Christian Eriksen on a six month loan deal with the option to extend until June 2023. The 29 year old has not played a competitive fixture since he suffered a cardiac arrest during the Euro 2020 clash between Denmark and Finland and was subsequently fitted with an implanted cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) – a type of pacemaker.
Eriksen won the Scudetto with Inter Milan last season but his contract was mutually terminated as players fitted with an ICD are not permitted to compete in the Serie A. Since then, he has been training alone at Danish side Odense Boldklub in an effort to regain fitness and make the Danish squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Since the Premier League has no such regulations, Eriksen has successfully signed for Brentford after completing all the necessary medical checks and will hope to revive his career in the Premier League.
The Danish midfielder has previously played in England for Tottenham Hotspur, scoring 69 goals in 305 games and helped the London based club reach the Champions League final in 2019. It’s expected that Eriksen will quickly be able to settle at Brentford with manager Thomas Frank and teammates Christian Norgaard and Mathias Jensen also being Danish. The midfielder has recently been vaccinated for COVID-19 and will be travelling to West London in the upcoming days but won’t train this week.
In an interview after the announcement of his signature, manager Thomas Frank said “I am looking forward to working with Christian again. It has been a while since I last coached him, and a lot has happened since then. Christian was 16 at the time and has become one of the best midfield players to appear in the Premier League. He has also won trophies all over Europe and become the star of the Danish national team. We have taken an unbelievable opportunity to bring a world-class player to Brentford. He hasn't trained with a team for seven months but has done a lot of work on his own.
"He is fit but we will need to get him match fit and I am looking forward to seeing him work with the players and staff to get back towards his highest level. At his best, Christian has the ability to dictate games of football. He can find the right passes and is a goal threat. He also has very, very good set-piece delivery, both from corners and direct free kicks. He is a player you can find with the ball, and he will come up with a solution to the problem in front of him. Christian will also bring experience of top-level football to the club. I expect him to have an impact in the dressing room and at the training ground."
Brentford director of football Phil Giles said: "We first discussed the possibility of Christian joining Brentford when we heard that he would be leaving Inter. It is fantastic that he is now with us. Naturally the process of signing Christian was more elongated than most transfers. I understand that many people will have questions about the process. In order to respect Christian's medical confidentiality, we won't be going into any details.
“Brentford fans can rest assured that we have undertaken significant due diligence to ensure that Christian is in the best possible shape to return to competitive football. Now Christian has made the decision to sign for Brentford, all parties want to focus fully on football. We are sure that Christian will make a big impact at Brentford and on the Premier League between now and the end of the season."