Christian Eriksen: The Biggest Upgrade of the Summer

Christian Eriksen joined Manchester United in a transfer that could be the biggest upgrade this season. In the transfer window, Manchester United had to accept the prospect of losing Paul Pogba. A player whose significance was often re-iterated by several Manchester United managers over the years.


In 2016, Manchester United revived an old experiment. The experiment involved the youngster turned superstar Paul Pogba. A 23-year-old with scintillating flair & ability. The Frenchman, a star in the Manchester United academy, left the club as a free agent in 2011.

After the departure, Pogba carved a boisterous reputation in Turin while playing for Juventus. 

His contributions resulted in several accolades, including multiple Scudetto (Italian Serie A) wins & a Champions League Final.

A Hero’s Welcome

In the aftermath of a tumultuous 2015/16 season at Old Trafford, Jose Mourinho took over the reins. His welcome present took the shape of a familiar face.

It was the return of the 6-foot 3-inch midfielder with freshly trimmed hair, a mature persona, a formidable look, & immeasurable bags of ability.

He announced his arrival with a buoyant header & stood still before the overzealous Old Trafford audience. The game ended in a 4-0 victory against Leicester City. 

Downward Spiral & Inevitable Departure

In a six-year stay, Pogba produced moments of magic and moments of despair. The inconsistencies coupled with antics behind-the-scenes exacerbated the circumstances.

The lack of silverware further angered the partisan fanbase. Despite issues, the Old Trafford faithful believed that he was irreplaceable.

In 2021, with a year left on the contract, a tug-of-war ensued between Manchester United & several interested clubs for the signing of Pogba.

The Red Devils fended off all interests & retained the player. 

The 2021/22 season ended in disarray as the club achieved its worst finish in the Premier League.

Pogba, who had an injury-ridden campaign, decided to end his stay.

“How Do We Replace Him?”

The departure of the prominent Paul Pogba received a mixed response. As a result, Some sensed a lack of ambition from the club to retain. The others felt that the French World Cup star’s departure was necessary.

But all of them pondered one thing- “How do we replace Paul Pogba?”

Christian Eriksen: The Biggest Upgrade of The Summer

Throughout Pogba’s tenure, he operated in several positions across the midfield. While he favored an attacking role, he was left to perform as a deep-lying playmaker. It was a demanding role for a midfielder with a gigantic frame. While his playmaking numbers, particularly goals and assists, seem normal. He has not consistently produced those numbers in each game.

Christian Eriksen has significantly operated as an attacking midfielder but now operates in an unfamiliar position. That is, as a deep-lying playmaker.

Defensive Numbers 

Defensively, The Danish star has produced 0.3 tackles per ninety, 0.3 interceptions per ninety, 0.5 blocks per ninety, and one clearance per ninety in around 533 minutes in the Premier League. 

In the 2021/22 season, Pogba produced 0.7 tackles per ninety, 0.7 interceptions per ninety, 0.1 blocks per ninety, and 0.8 clearances per ninety in around 1355 minutes in the Premier League.

While those numbers seem even to some extent, one must note that Pogba committed two fouls per ninety while Eriksen only committed 0.3 fouls per ninety.

Attacking Numbers

On the front foot, Eriksen has taken two shots, provided 1.3 key passes, made 0.2 dribbles, has been dispossessed once, & poorly controlled the ball once.

Pogba took 1.6 shots per ninety, provided 1.2 key passes, made two dribbles, & has lost the ball on 1.6 occasions & has poorly controlled the ball on 2.1 occasions. 

Further, Eriksen has attempted more passes compared to Pogba. The former made 49.7 passes per ninety, while the latter amassed 43.9 per ninety.

In a nutshell, it encapsulates the composure & ability of Christian Eriksen.  

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