With a thumbs up to the camera, Christian Eriksen revealed his new team and planned return to playing — almost eight months after having a cardiac arrest on the field at the European Championship.
“I’m happy to announce that I’ve signed for Brentford Football Club,” Eriksen said in Monday’s social media video. “I can’t wait to get started.”
It will be a remarkable playing comeback to the Premier League for the Denmark playmaker, who has said he was essentially dead for five minutes after collapsing in the opening Euro 2020 game against Finland.
The uplifting signing was an early announcement on the final day of the January transfer window in the Premier League. Signing with Brentford until the end of the season, Eriksen is returning to England where he played with Tottenham until joining Inter Milan two years ago and winning the Serie A title.
The west London club will feel like home. The 29-year-old Eriksen is being reunited with Thomas Frank, the Brentford manager who coached him when playing for Denmark’s under-17s team. He will also be the ninth Dane in the club’s squad.
“We have taken an unbelievable opportunity to bring a world class player to Brentford,” Frank said. “He hasn’t trained with a team for seven months but has done a lot of work on his own. 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.”
Frank will be hoping Eriksen provides a further lift for a team impressing in its first-ever campaign in the Premier League, sitting eight points above the relegation zone with 15 games remaining.
“At his best, Christian has the ability to dictate games of football,” Frank said. “He can find the right passes and is a goal threat. He also has very, very good set piece delivery, both from corners and direct free kicks.
“He is a player you can find with the ball, and he will come up with a solution to the problem in front of him. Christian will also bring experience of top level football to the club.”
Eriksen’s contract with Inter Milan was terminated by mutual agreement in December since Italian regulations prevented him playing with the implantable cardioverter-defibrillator that was fitted. He was recently training to regain fitness at Ajax, the Dutch club where he began his career.
Brentford said it would “respect Christian’s medical confidentiality” by not divulging further information beyond saying he only recently received coronavirus vaccines that allow him to comply with entry rules to Britain.
Eriksen is set to fly into London this week but not immediately train with Brentford.
BURNLEY’S NEW STRIKER
Engaged in a relegation fight, Burnley has signed Netherlands striker Wout Weghorst to lead its attack having been forced to sell Chris Wood to rival Newcastle two weeks ago.
Weghorst, who joins from German team Wolfsburg, is a 6-foot-6 (1.98 meters) striker with aerial qualities that should suit Burnley, which often uses a direct, long-ball approach.
Wood left Burnley after Newcastle triggered the release clause of 25 million pounds ($34.5 million) in his contract.
Burnley is in last place, three points behind third-to-last Newcastle and four points from safety.
WHAT TO WATCH
It was set to be a busy deadline day in London.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has not played for Arsenal since Dec. 6 following disciplinary issues and then being at the African Cup of Nations with Gabon. The forward has been linked with a move to Barcelona or Juventus.
Tottenham missed out in recent days on signing Adama Traore, who went to Barcelona from Wolverhampton, and Luis Diaz, who joined Liverpool from Porto. The north London club was trying to bring in two players from Juventus — winger Dejan Kulusevski and midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur.
Tottenham was also trying to offload record-signing Tanguy Ndombele back to Lyon and also find clubs to sign Dele Alli, Giovani Lo Celso and Bryan Gil on loan.
Donny van de Beek, who has struggled for playing time at Manchester United, could get a chance to revive his Premier League career by joining Everton on loan.
Newcastle was also looking to add more players to ensure its first season under Saudi ownership does not end in relegation, with the team currently in the drop zone.