Christian Eriksen decided he wanted to leave Tottenham in search of a new challenge last season, but the midfielder’s move has proven that the grass isn’t always greener.
Eriksen has struggled for opportunities at Inter Milan and has become an increasingly peripheral figure under manager Antonio Conte, with the Denmark international having started just four times in the league this season for the Nerazzurri.
The 28-year-old is expected to leave the Italian side this month in search of regular first-team football and the playmaker could prove an astute signing for any side seeking midfield creativity.
So for those of you who like to try and predict the outcome of the high stakes poker game that is the January transfer market, we’ve decided to look at how the bookmakers view Eriksen’s future,
Here are the five favourites to sign the Inter Milan star this month:
Ajax – 10/1
Could Eriksen head back to the club where his professional career started?
The midfielder came through the famed academy system at Ajax after turning down moves to several European giants in order to move to the Netherlands, spending two seasons with the club’s youth side before making his senior bow.
Eriksen soon established himself in the first-team and he was named as Dutch Football Talent of the Year in 2011, helping Ajax to three consecutive Eredivisie titles and making 162 appearances for the Amsterdam-outfit in all competitions.
Ajax currently lead the title race in the Netherlands but have looked to strengthen already this winter with the capture of Sebastien Haller from West Ham, and could make their move for Eriksen having lost the creative spark of both Hakim Ziyech and Donny van de Beek last summer.
Erik ten Hag’s side received more than €100m during the summer from the sales of that duo and Sergino Dest and will likely have the funds available to secure a cut-price move for the former favourite if Eriksen is prepared to return to the Dutch capital.
Valencia – 7/1
Valencia have been credited with an interest in Eriksen in recent weeks with the Spanish side considering a loan move for the player, with Javi Gracia keen to remodel his squad following the club’s fire-sale of talent during the summer.
Financial difficulties saw the La Liga outfit sanction the sales of Ferran Torres, Rodrigo and Geoffrey Kondogbia for significant sums, whilst the likes of Dani Parejo and Francis Coquelin were allowed to depart in cut-price deals.
The result has been a drop into the bottom half of the division and Gracia is keen for cost-efficient reinforcements this month, the club having also been linked with Manchester United outcast Sergio Romero and a loan swoop for out-of-favour Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks.
Eriksen’s arrival would no doubt add quality to their ranks and the midfielder may be keen on testing himself in Spain after stints in England and Italy, though whether Valencia can compete financially with other interested parties remains to be seen.
Arsenal – 6/1
It couldn’t happen, could it?
Eriksen’s allegiances to former side Tottenham would make this a sensational deal if completed, but the bookmakers are backing Arsenal as third favourites to sign a player who previously starred on the opposite side of north London.
Mikel Arteta’s side have been void of creativity this season with both Willian and Nicolas Pepe woefully out of form, the Spaniard having since turned to the Gunners’ next generation with the likes of Emile Smith Rowe introduced to the fold in recent weeks.
Arsenal have been linked with a number of options this month including £40m-rated Norwich star Emiliano Buendia, though the Gunners could secure themselves a bargain buy if Eriksen is willing to make a return to the Premier League and the capital.
Inter are reportedly desperate to raise funds and could sanction his cut-price sale, club chief Giuseppe Marotta having confirmed the star is available for transfer this winter.
Tottenham – 6/4
The second of the midfielder’s former sides to feature on this list, Tottenham have been priced at 6/4 odds to bring Eriksen back to north London this month.
Eriksen was a fantastic footballer for Spurs during his six-and-a-half year spell and would likely be welcomed back with open arms by the club’s supporters, having become just the second player – after David Beckham – to provide 10+ assists in four consecutive Premier League campaigns.
The star is understood to retain a good relationship with the club despite the manner of his exit, having effectively forced the north Londoner’s hand during the final months of his contract.
23 – Christian Eriksen has scored the most goals from outside the box (23) and most direct free-kicks goals (8) since his Premier League debut in September 2013. Specialist. pic.twitter.com/BuLKFzQdoy
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 28, 2019
It remains to be seen whether Jose Mourinho would be interested in a player who initially walked away from his project, though the Portuguese is believed to be considering his midfield options with continued links to RB Leipzig star Marcel Sabitzer.
Much may also depend on the future of Dele Alli, the out out-of-favour star having been linked with a loan move to Paris Saint-Germain this month, and with Spurs heading for a period of fixture congestion bringing in a ready made replacement like Eriksen may make sense.
Paris Saint-Germain – 5/4
Paris Saint-Germain have been installed as 5/4 favourites to sign Eriksen this month, the recent appointment of former Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino at the Parc des Princes making the Parisians the obvious option.
Eriksen thrived under the guidance of the Argentine during his time at Spurs and proved an influential figure as they reached the 2019 Champions League final, and the Dane could offer regular supply to a formidable forward line in the French capital.
Speculation has emerged in recent weeks over a potential swap deal involving Eriksen and Leandro Paredes, though Pochettino is believed to be keen to keep the latter amongst his midfield options.
It’s a move that appears to make plenty of sense for all parties involved, however, with Pochettino acquiring the services of a trusted player at a reasonable cost and PSG providing Eriksen the platform to win silverware.