New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is looking at ways to improve his squad after they finished sixth in the Premier League and failed to win a trophy last term
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Danny Murphy has warned Manchester United they’ll “finish worse than last season” if they sign Christian Eriksen this summer.
New Red Devils manager Erik ten Hag wants to bring Denmark international, 30, to Old Trafford this summer on a free transfer. Eriksen’s Brentford contract expires at the end of this month with the Bees and former side Tottenham also keen on his signature.
Eriksen is one of the best playmakers in the Premier League, scoring one goal and providing four assists in his 11 appearances for Brentford last term. That helped Thomas Frank’s side stay up under significant pressure, achieving an impressive 13th-placed finish.
The experienced midfielder made his comeback in February after suffering a cardiac arrest at Euro 2020 last summer. He was a released by Inter Milan in December due to Serie A not allowing players to have an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) device fitted.
The ICD is designed to defibrillate Eriksen’s heart if he was to suffer another cardiac arrest in the future. Brentford gave him the opportunity to return to the Premier League – offering him a six-month contract in January – a chance he’s well and truly taken.
Many United fans would love to see Eriksen join Ten Hag at Old Trafford, yet Murphy believes it’s a bad idea – insisting it will delay the club’s revival. “I do not see it,” the former England international told talkSPORT when asked about the possible transfer.
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“If Erik ten Hag thinks he’s going to play Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes in the same team in a midfield with only one holding player, they’ll end up finishing worse off than this season. Is he going to bring him in as a back- up for Fernandes, play as a 10?
“Or is he going to play him as a central midfielder? If you bring in Frenkie de Jong and Eriksen in the midfield, where’s the tenacity, where the tough tackling physical presence? There isn’t any. That’s a strange one for United, why they want Eriksen, I do not get that.
“They’ve got enough creative players. So United think they are going to get someone from Brentford and been one of Tottenham’s best players in the past, in an unsuccessful era when they won nothing, to make them more competitive?”
United are desperate to avoid a repeat of last season. They finished sixth in the Premier League under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his temporary successor Ralf Rangnick, recording their lowest points total (58) since the 1989-90 campaign.
The Red Devils are also enduring their worst trophy drought since the late 1970s and early 1980s. They haven’t lifted silverware since their Europa League triumph in May 2017 – finish second in the Premier League twice and losing FA Cup and Europa League finals.
Ten Hag has been tasked with making United successful again. They’ve won just three major trophies since Sir Alex Ferguson’s exit in 2013 and seen the back of five managers (minimum 20 games): David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Solskjaer and Rangnick.