The Tottenham player Daniel Levy was desperate to keep has proved his decision was right

On a day when Tottenham’s dreams of winning silverware were ended for another year, a former player was playing his part in helping his new team in their push for a trophy.

Ahead of the Carabao Cup final between Spurs and Man City kicking off at Wembley, Christian Eriksen and Inter Milan were in action as they looked for another win against Hellas Verona to close in on the Serie A title.

Antonio Conte’s team did manage to get all three points courtesy of Matteo Darmian’s late strike as they extended their lead over City rivals AC to 13 points, with former Spurs midfielder Eriksen playing 65 minutes of the contest before the ex-Chelsea boss changed things up.

A week later and it was finally confirmed that Inter had won their first Scudetto in 11 years after second-placed Atalanta could only manage a 1-1 draw against Sassuolo.

Departing Tottenham in January 2020 for a new challenge elsewhere in his quest to win trophies, Eriksen’s decision to move on despite Daniel Levy desperately wanting to keep him at the club was finally vindicated after such a frustrating 15 months for him in Milan.

Playing a bit-part role at the San Siro shortly after his January move as he only started in eight of his 17 league games for the Nerazzurri, that was once again the case for the Dane at the start of this campaign as he struggled to force his way into the manager’s thinking.

Perhaps not helped by Conte’s setup with the Italian opting for a three-man midfield as he favours playing with wing-backs as was the case during his Chelsea tenure, Eriksen found himself behind the likes of Nicolo Barella, Marcelo Brozovic, Roberto Gagliardini and Arturo Vidal in the pecking order.

Only appearing in eight Serie A games for Inter before Christmas, it didn’t come as a shock when chief executive officer Beppe Marotta confirmed he could move on 12 months after striking a deal with Spurs for his services.

A return to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on loan was mooted but never came to fruition, with north London rivals Arsenal and Mauricio Pochettino’s Paris Saint-Germain also linked with a move for the Demark international.

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However, Conte confirmed late in the January window that nobody would arrive nor depart the San Siro amid all the transfer speculation.

Clearly needing one moment to help turn his Inter career around, it came in the final minute of the Milan derby in the Coppa Italia at the end of January as Eriksen converted a sublime free-kick moments after coming off the bench to clinch a 2-1 win.

Given a start in the league four days later in the 4-0 win over Benevento, the 29-year-old has been a regular under Conte since with 14 appearances from 15 Serie A games, with 11 of those starts.

Eriksen has well and truly turned things around over the past three months and he has played his part in the club breaking Juventus’ stranglehold on the Serie A title after the Bianconeri claimed the top prize in the previous nine seasons.

Christian Eriksen's last-minute free-kick against AC Milan in January was a huge turning point in his Inter Milan career
Christian Eriksen’s last-minute free-kick against AC Milan in January was a huge turning point in his Inter Milan career

The attacking midfielder’s move from Tottenham to Inter Milan didn’t exactly go as he had initially envisaged in his first year in Italy and he stated it was “mentally difficult” when speaking to TV2 Sport in his homeland back in March.

“It was the hardest and most demanding season of my career,” explained Eriksen, as reported by The Mirror. “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.

“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.

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“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.”

The hard work Eriksen has put in at the club’s training base over the past few months has proved successful and now it’s about keeping his place in the Inter XI going forward.

A player with all the ability and quality in the world as he demonstrated during his Spurs career, it was only a matter of time before he adapted to Conte’s ways and playing in Serie A to get a regular run in the side.

Scoring his second league goal of the season on Saturday four minutes after coming off the bench in the 2-0 win away at Crotone, the Inter boss now knows exactly what Eriksen can offer him and he will no doubt come into his thinking regarding a starting spot this weekend when they host Sampdoria.

The Scudetto may be wrapped up now after an 11-year wait but the hard work doesn’t stop there for Eriksen as he has four more games coming up as he looks to show Conte why he should be in his side come the new season in August.

Making it clear in the summer of 2019 that he wanted to depart Tottenham for something new, the classy midfielder now has a trophy to his name and many more could be set to follow as the Nerazzurri look to capitalise on Juventus’ woes under Andrea Pirlo and become Serie A’s top team again.

Finally adding a medal to his collection after failing to win one during his seven seasons in the capital, all Eriksen’s former teammates at Tottenham will be hoping that happens in N17 next season as they look to end that barren run without one for good.

It didn’t look like it at first, but Eriksen’s move to Inter has paid off for the Dane.

Source by Football London

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