- Danish playmaker ruled out for three months
- Ankle problem keeping him sidelined
- Little time in which to bring in cover
WHAT HAPPENED? The Red Devils have learned that an ankle injury suffered in the FA Cup fourth-round clash with Reading – following a late challenge from Royals striker Andy Carroll – is set to keep their Danish playmaker on the sidelines until at least the end of April. That news represents a considerable blow to United’s plans, as they look to chase down major silverware on multiple fronts, but they will not be throwing money at a solution before the latest recruitment deadline passes on Tuesday evening.
WHAT THEY SAID: Ten Hag told reporters when asked if there were any plans to dip into the transfer market for Eriksen cover: “As you said, on deadline day it's difficult, you can't make policy on such bad injuries. But we have players in the midfield department, good players. We have players who can fill the gap.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: United’s boss went on to say of trying to counter the loss of Eriksen, who has two goals and nine assists to his name this season: “I think you can never fill that [gap] because every player has his own characteristics, identity, another player will always fill in a different way, but it doesn't mean you have to be less successful. It's quite clear Christian Eriksen brings top quality to our squad and he has some specifics that are hard to replace, such as his impacts in the final third with his final ball.”
IN THREE PHOTOS:(C)Getty Images
WHAT NEXT? United have the second leg of a Carabao Cup semi-final clash with Nottingham Forest to come on Wednesday, while Ten Hag’s side will face the likes of Leeds, Barcelona, Liverpool, Newcastle and Chelsea across multiple competitions before the end of April and a potential return to action for Eriksen.