As much as Christian Eriksen would love to be involved in UEFA Champions League football next season, he won’t look elsewhere for it.
Despite the world-record sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid in the summer, expectations were high at Tottenham Hotspur that they could achieve a top-four finish this term. A number of big-money signings were made with the proceeds of the sale of the Wales international, yet the majority of these have struggled in England.
One exception is that of Eriksen, who has already proven to be a shrewd acquisition at £11million. The Denmark international has scored nine goals and assisted in 10 more from his 31 appearances in all competitions, and was again in impressive form on Monday evening when Spurs beat Sunderland 5-1 at White Hart Lane.
This result ensured Tim Sherwood’s men kept ahead of Manchester United in the race for sixth place, which would earn them UEFA Europa League football. And whilst the target was a top-four finish and Champions League football, Eriksen insists he will not seek a transfer from the London club when the window reopens in the summer.
The former Ajax midfielder is under contract at Tottenham until the end of the 2017/18 season, but when asked if he could look to break this deal and move on ahead of next term, he replied: “I’m happy here and I am looking forward to the future. For me, the feeling I have at the club isn’t dependent on being in the UEFA Champions League.”
Whilst many Spurs fans would expect nothing less from a player who has only recently joined, Eriksen’s words will be welcomed considering two other stars, Hugo Lloris and Jan Vertonghen, are thought to be seriously considering their futures should, as now seems almost certain, they fail to finish inside the top four this season.
Lloris has played in the Champions League for Lyon prior to his move to England, and in January this year, he said: “We’ll see how things are at the end of the season, especially as this season is longer with the World Cup. The objective is first and foremost to qualify for the Champions League, and then, year by year, get closer to the big guns.”
A month later, Belgian international defender Vertonghen, formerly of Ajax, hinted of a summer transfer when he said: “What I want is to play in the Champions League with Tottenham Hotspur. So, hopefully, I will get there this year. I don’t complain about anything. Let’s see after the end of the season and after the World Cup Finals.”