Erik ten Hag won the race to sign Eriksen after he was released by Brentford earlier this summer. After interest from former club Tottenham, the Dane signed a three-year contract at Old Trafford.
Manchester United will not win major titles if both Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen start, according to Danny Murphy. Both players have started United’s first six Premier League games of the season, but Murphy believes it will not be enough.
When United’s interest in Eriksen first surfaced in July, Murphy was critical. He was convinced he and Eriksen couldn’t play in the same XI, and he still is.
Murphy admits Eriksen has proven him wrong by playing slightly deeper in the first month of the season. However, he says if United harbors hopes of winning silverware, Ten Hag cannot afford to have both playmakers on the side.
“I think he’s proven me wrong with his contribution from a deeper area. He’s a wonderful passer of the ball, I’ve never disliked Eriksen and I’ve never, ever said that.
“He’s a super player technically, I just don’t think in any midfield you can have two players in a midfield three, I don’t think you can have two players who aren’t defensively minded and win anything. That’s my belief.
“You can talk about City when they’ve had the likes of Bernardo Silva and De Bruyne, but their work ethic and the defensive part of their game is better than the two I’ve just mentioned. They’ve probably got one of the best holding midfield players in Europe [Rodri], which now United could argue they have [Casemiro].
“McTominay has been terrific in the last few games. Eriksen isn’t doing anything I didn’t think he could do.
“He sees all the pictures, he’s got two great feet, he can pass from anywhere. I am still convinced that if Eriksen and Fernandes play in the same team consistently against the top opposition, they’ll struggle to win anything.”
Eriksen and Fernandes could be among the United players rested for the start of their Europa League campaign this week. Ten Hag welcomes Real Sociedad to Old Trafford on Thursday.
A trip to Crystal Palace is next up in the Premier League. United will aim to make it five wins in a row at Selhurst Park on Sunday.