Christian Eriksen says he never “wanted to escape” Inter after struggling to make an immediate impact at San Siro, but admits that his early difficulties in Italy were “annoying”.
The Denmark international midfielder completed a switch to the Serie A heavyweights from Tottenham during the winter transfer window of 2020.
A slow start was made to life in new surroundings, with a spark going missing in his game, and further exit talk surfaced as the Nerazzurri reportedly considered cutting their losses.
What has been said?
Eriksen maintains that a move was never on the cards, with the 29-year-old playmaker telling TV2 Sport: “It was the hardest and most demanding season of my career.
“It was like going up and down continuously, but now I feel like I have recovered well.
“Not because I wanted to escape, I really wanted to fight for my place and I always have. I was sure that if my chance came, I would probably try to grab it.
“It was mentally difficult. I came to Inter to play football and, when you aren’t allowed to do it, it’s annoying.Getty
“Off the pitch it was absolutely fantastic. Milan is a beautiful city and the family is fine. It was only on the pitch that something was missing.
“Being an Inter player has always been nice, but the best moment is being able to play more. I’m having a great time, I was good at isolating myself and concentrating.
“For an incredible number of days, after training and games, I trained more. A free kick, a shot on target, I had the opportunity to train more because I didn’t play much.”
Eriksen added: “I understand many things in Italian and knowing the language helps me to understand what the coach wants.
“Honestly, I haven’t practised Italian too much. The 2020-21 season was suspended due to Covid and I have a child at home. I had to manage multiple commitments.”
Eriksen’s record at Inter
Eriksen saw just eight Serie A starts and 700 minutes of top-flight action on the back of his high-profile move to Milan.
He has only been included in Antonio Conte’s starting XI in nine league fixtures this season, but has started to show what he is capable of.
A match-winning free kick was crashed home in a Coppa Italia derby date with AC Milan in January, with that strike helping to raise Eriksen’s morale.
That remains his only domestic effort of the season, though, and the target has been found just five times through 50 games for Inter.
A man who established a reputation as one of the Premier League’s most prolific assist providers during his time at Spurs has also seen creativity in his game dry up.
Eriksen has only teed up three efforts for team-mates across 14 months at San Siro, but is on course to help the Nerazzurri to title glory in 2021 and a first medal of his career since leaving Ajax.