Former Manchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard has called the club’s signing of Christian Eriksen a ‘fairytale’, and believes the midfielder is a ‘perfect fit’ for Erik ten Hag’s side.
Eriksen has given a verbal agreement to join United in the past few days, after the expiration of the six-month deal he signed with Brentford in January. The 30-year-old had spent the past fortnight deliberating over a move, seemingly unsure about moving his family north after only returning to competition earlier this year.
The former Inter Milan midfielder made a remarkable return to full-time football with Brentford earlier this season. He signed for the Bees in January, and delivered a string of impressive performances with Thomas Frank’s side, who were interested in keeping him beyond this summer.
The spell with Brentford was a moving turnaround for Eriksen, whose career an athlete seemed to be over after he suffered a cardiac arrest during last summer’s EURO 2020 fixture between Denmark and Finland.
Eriksen’s life was saved by the quick reaction of team-mate Simon Kjaer and the Danish national team’s medical staff. Having been fitted with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator device, he left Inter Milan and trained under Ten Hag with former club Ajax before agreeing his short-term deal with Brentford.
Now, Eriksen is set to join up with Ten Hag again, and compatriot Lindegaard is pleased that he has been able to play for a big European club again.
‘It’s a fairytale story,’ Lindegaard told BBC World Service Sport. ‘No-one would have seen that in a crystal ball and I’m just so happy for Christian that he’s been able to make it back in such a great way. I’m very impressed, but not particularly surprised.’
‘Christian has got a special kind of mentality; a mentality that will suit United very much. He’s not in football for the fame, the money, the luxury lifestyle or showing off. Christian is in football for the love of the game — in a way that I don’t know anyone else is.’
For Lindegaard, Eriksen’s character will serve the team well on and off the pitch during his time at Old Trafford.
‘For that reason mainly, he fits very well at United which, looking from the outside, has turned into a club with a lot of diva mentality, a lot of players who have a lot of followers on social media — and you get the sense that becoming a part of Manchester United is part of getting more attention and personal branding.
‘Christian comes in as a completely different character,’ Lindegaard explained. ‘He couldn’t care less about followers on social media. He couldn’t care less about fancy cars or expensive watches. All he cares about is playing football, enjoying football and making it into the beautiful game we all want it to be.’
The signing of the former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder is expected to be rendered official this week.
For more stories like this, check our sport page.