‘It will be amazing’: Christian Eriksen set for Brentford debut against Newcastle

Eriksen is set for a Premier League return, having suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch while playing for Denmark in June

Jim van Wijk
Friday 25 February 2022 15:32
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Christian Eriksen joined the Bees ahead of the transfer deadline (Steven Paston/PA)
Christian Eriksen joined the Bees ahead of the transfer deadline (Steven Paston/PA)

Brentford head coach Thomas Frank feels Christian Eriksen is now ready to make his debut in Saturday’s Premier League clash with relegation rivals Newcastle – and show he remains a quality player.

The Denmark international has impressed after returning to action for the first time since suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch in June last year with a couple of appearances in behind-closed-doors fixtures.

Eriksen moved to Brentford on a free agent deal until the end of the season, having left Inter Milan by mutual consent.

Rules in Italy would not allow Eriksen – who revealed last month he had “died for five minutes” after collapsing during Denmark’s Euro 2020 clash with Finland – to play after having an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) device fitted.

Having also spent time building up his fitness with former club Ajax before making a transfer deadline day move to west London, Frank feels former Tottenham playmaker Eriksen is now ready to make a much-anticipated competitive debut.

“Christian will be in the squad. He will get on the pitch for his debut tomorrow. It will be amazing,” said Frank. “It is a big day for all of us, but especially Christian and his family. When he walks out on to that pitch.

“Everyone saw what happened (on the pitch at Euro 2020) and it is another reminder that we are privileged to do what we do, so we need to appreciate every moment.

“The key thing is that everything has been checked, it is all good with zero chance that something should happen. He and his family are aligned that he should play football, which is very important.”

Frank is in no doubt of what Eriksen can bring to his side, who are in danger of being dragged into the relegation scrap.

“There is no doubt he is the player with the biggest CV who has ever played for Brentford,” Frank said. “You can see it mainly in his quality. When you see him training, it is remarkable the things he has been doing.

“There is also all of his experience, small conversations with players over where you want the ball when you give it to others, when they should be cool on the pitch.

“He is confident in what he is capable of as a footballer, but also very humble.”

He is confident in what he is capable of as a footballer, but also very humble

Thomas Frank

Frank added: “Christian is in a good place. Now it is just that game rhythm which he needs to get into his body and to get that consistency in everything.

“We will need a few games to get him going under max, but I would not put him in there if I didn’t think he could provide something now.”

After such a positive start to their campaign, the Bees have struggled since the turn of the year with six defeats from the past seven league games – and now sit only four points above the drop zone.

“You always try to look up the table but I am not stupid. I also know other teams are winning, but the only thing we can focus on is ourselves,” Frank said.

“The way we have been approaching the league has been one game at a time, just like it was in the Championship, with a massive focus.

“It will be exactly the same for this game – our approach needs to be front-footed, brave, aggressive and cool in every aspect.

“I am convinced if we put performances in like that, it will turn around with wins and draws going forward.

“I am aware Newcastle are just around us (in the table), but if we go into this game with a different approach, then that is going to be an incident.

“It will be the smallest of margins which decides the game tomorrow and maybe just one bit of magic.”

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