Eriksen signs for Brentford months after cardiac arrest at Euro 2020
Christian Eriksen has completed a remarkable return to the Premier League, signing for Brentford just seven months after suffering a cardiac arrest at last year’s European Championship.
The Denmark international left Inter Milan in December by mutual consent as the implantable cardioverter defibrillator, or ICD, he had fitted meant he was not allowed to play in Italian football.
But the Premier League does not have the same rule and Brentford issued a statement on Monday confirming they had signed the former Tottenham playmaker until the end of the season, subject to international clearance.
Eriksen, 29, who has been training with young players at another of his former clubs, Ajax, said he was raring to go in a short video on Brentford’s Twitter feed.
“Hi everyone, it’s Christian Eriksen,” he said. “I’m happy to announce that I’ve signed for Brentford Football Club and I can’t wait to get started and hopefully I’ll see you all very soon.”
Brentford manager Thomas Frank, who worked with Eriksen while in charge of Denmark’s Under-17s squad early in his coaching career, welcomed his compatriot, saying it was an “unbelievable opportunity” to bring a world-class player to the club.
“He is fit but we will need to get him match-fit and I am looking forward to seeing him work with the players and staff to get back towards his highest level,” he said.
“At his best, Christian has the ability to dictate games of football. He can find the right passes and is a goal threat…. I expect him to have an impact in the dressing room and at the training ground.”
Inter tweeted: “Good luck for your new adventure, @ChrisEriksen8. We are happy to see you back out on the pitch! Forever.”
Spurs tweeted: “It’s good to see you back in the Premier League, @ChrisEriksen8”.
Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest in Denmark’s opening game at Euro 2020 against Finland in Copenhagen on June 12 and had to be resuscitated on the pitch.
The midfielder, who spent several days in hospital and had the ICD heart-regulating device fitted, has not played since.
Denmark rode a wave of emotion at the delayed tournament, reaching the semi-finals, where they were knocked out by England.
Brentford’s director of football, Phil Giles, said that although the club would not divulge any of Eriksen’s private medical information, “Brentford fans can rest assured that we have undertaken significant due diligence to ensure that Christian is in the best possible shape to return to competitive football.”
Eriksen was a pivotal member of Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham side that finished as runners-up in the Premier League in 2016/17 and reached the Champions League final in 2019.
The Dane joined Inter in January 2020 and after initial problems settling into then-manager Antonio Conte’s system, was a driving force in their charge to a 19th league title last year.
Eriksen told Danish media earlier this month that his aim was to play in the World Cup later this year.
“My goal is to play in the World Cup in Qatar in November/December 2022,” he said, adding: “Whether I can get selected is something entirely different… but… I can come back.”
Brentford are 14th in the Premier League after four consecutive defeats but are eight points above the relegation zone.