One of the biggest names to join Inter in recent years, Christian Eriksen had a tough initial twelve months at Inter. He struggled to find his feet and it seemed certain that the club would offload him in the January window. A buyer never came, however, and the Danish midfielder turned things around to become a vital part of Conte’s side.
Games Played: 26
What went right this season?
He finally learned what the coach wanted from him. When Eriksen joined in January 2020, the entire footballing world understood his immense quality. The questions were about whether he could fit into Antonio Conte’s system. This season the coach tried to accommodate Eriksen in an attacking midfield role, but the team struggled to find balance and the system soon returned to a more familiar 3-5-2 formation.
However, through pure persistence (from both the coach and player), Eriksen found his place in the team. He slotted into the midfield alongside Barella and Brozovic to add an extra dimension to Inter’s game. The team no longer relied entirely on the Croatian to build-up play, and had a player capable to play perfect passes in an instant to unleash the attackers in front of him. It is no coincidence that many of the side's best performances came with the Dane in the side.
The goal against Milan, of course. After months of criticism, the player pops up to knock the league leaders out of the Coppa Italia. The joy amongst the entire squad is clear to see, but no one is happier than Eriksen himself. It is also worth mentioning, however, that he did secure the winner against Crotone as well. While the Scudetto was basically won, Inter had stumbled with a couple of draws in earlier matches and it was great to have a player step up and secure what ended up being the deciding fixture.
What does he need to improve on?
The output of three goals/no assists is not good enough for a player of his quality. He was one of the top assist-men during his time with Tottenham and Inter will need him to seriously boost his goal involvements next season if they are to retain their title.
What role will he play in 2021/22?
It will be interesting to see what role he plays under Inzaghi, but I am very excited for it. Luis Alberto was largely unknown when he arrived at Lazio, but the system allowed him to show his immense qualities as a midfield playmaker for the Aquile. Eriksen shares many of the same attributes as the Spaniard and I think he’ll be a key member of the squad. We may see him return to the AMC role if Inzaghi opts for a 3511, or he could remain deeper in the 352. Regardless, I think he will certainly be given more freedom to express himself in the black-and-blue than ever before.