With a thumbs up to the camera, Christian Eriksen revealed his new team and planned return to playing – almost eight months after having a cardiac arrest on the field at the European Championship.
“I’m happy to announce that I’ve signed for Brentford Football Club,” Eriksen said in Monday’s social-media video. “I can’t wait to get started.”
It will be a remarkable playing comeback to the English Premier League for the Denmark playmaker, who has said he was essentially dead for five minutes after collapsing in the opening Euro 2020 game against Finland.
The uplifting signing was the headline announcement on the final day of the January transfer window in the Premier League, which also saw Manchester City and Tottenham bring in internationals from South America, and Burnley recruit a much-needed striker in its bid to avoid relegation.
It was Eriksen who captured the imagination, though, after signing with Brentford until the end of the season to secure a return to England, where he played with Tottenham until joining Inter Milan two years ago and winning the Serie A.
The west London club will feel like home. The 29-year-old Eriksen is being reunited with Thomas Frank, the Brentford manager who coached him when playing for Denmark Under-17s. He will also be the ninth Dane in the club’s squad.
“We have taken an unbelievable opportunity to bring a world-class player to Brentford,” Frank said. “He hasn’t trained with a team for seven months but has done a lot of work on his own. He is fit, but we will need to get him match fit, and I am looking forward to seeing him work with the players and staff to get back towards his highest level.”
Frank will be hoping Eriksen provides a further lift for a team impressing in its first-ever campaign in the Premier League, sitting eight points above the relegation zone with 15 games remaining.
“At his best, Christian has the ability to dictate games of football,” Frank said. “He can find the right passes and is a goal threat. He also has very, very good set-piece delivery, both from corners and direct free kicks.
“He is a player you can find with the ball, and he will come up with a solution to the problem in front of him.”
Eriksen’s contract with Inter Milan was terminated by mutual agreement in December since Italian regulations prevented him from playing with the implantable cardioverter-defibrillator that was fitted. He was recently training to regain fitness at Ajax, the Dutch club where he began his career.
Brentford said it would “respect Christian’s medical confidentiality” by not divulging further information beyond only saying he recently received coronavirus vaccines that allow him to comply with entry rules to Britain.
Eriksen is set to fly into London this week but not immediately train with Brentford.
Alvarez to Manchester City
Manchester City has another Argentine striker on its books.
Julian Alvarez has signed a 5½-year deal from River Plate, where he will remain on loan at least until July.
Alvarez could end up being the long-term replacement for City great Sergio Aguero, who left the club in the offseason after 10 years and has since retired.
“He is capable of operating in a number of attacking roles,” City director of football Txiki Begiristain said, “and we firmly believe he’s one of the best young attacking players in South America.”
The 22-year-old Alvarez has played five times for Argentina and helped River win the domestic title last year, when he scored 26 goals in all competitions for club and country.
Tottenham said goodbye to one midfielder – at least for a few months – and welcomed two others.
Soon after offloading record signing Tanguy Ndombele back to Lyon until the end of the season, Tottenham announced the arrivals from Juventus of Uruguay international Rodrigo Bentancur on a contract until 2026 and Sweden winger Dejan Kulusevski on an 18-month loan deal.
On a busy day at the club, Spurs – which missed out in recent days on signing Adama Traore, who went to Barcelona from Wolverhampton, and Luis Diaz, who joined Liverpool from Porto – was trying to bring in winger Kulusevski while finding clubs to sign Dele Alli, Giovani Lo Celso and Bryan Gil on loan.
Ndombele has been a huge failure at Tottenham, where he moved in 2019 for €60-million ($86-million). Lyon has paid €1.42-million to get him back for this season and has an option to sign him on a permanent move in June.
Van Beek’s escape
Frank Lampard’s first signing as Everton manager was bringing in Donny van de Beek on loan from Manchester United.
The 24-year-old Netherlands midfielder has made only four Premier League starts – none this season – since being signed by United in 2020 from Ajax.
“We have the same ideas about football and he had a lot of influence on my decision,” Van de Beek said of Lampard, who is back in management a year after being fired by Chelsea.
Burnley’s new striker
Engaged in a relegation fight, Burnley has signed Netherlands striker Wout Weghorst to lead its attack having been forced to sell Chris Wood to rival Newcastle two weeks ago.
Weghorst, who joins from German team Wolfsburg, is a 6-foot-6 striker with aerial qualities that should suit Burnley, which often uses a direct, long-ball approach.
Wood left Burnley after Newcastle triggered the release clause of £25-million ($43-million) in his contract.
Burnley is in last place, three points behind third-to-last Newcastle and four points from safety.