However, whilst the injury to the 21-year-old midfielder will be a concern for Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas, there are some positives that could come from the situation.
Eriksen has yet to really settle at White Hart Lane since he arrived in the summer – after a superb season in Holland with Ajax where he was considered the most influential player in the team, he has been slow to adjust to the Premier League and life in London.
His form so far has been decent but nothing to write home about – he has yet to find his chemistry within the team and his consistency at the club. But, crucially, a spell out for a month could give him a chance to ground himself and bed in. He can take his time and focus on his recovery whilst acquainting himself better with his surroundings and environment.
It’s give him some much needed breathing space. Plus, absence makes the heart grow fonder, they say – I’m surely he’ll be raring to go and chomping at the bit come December just in time for the crucial Christmas period.
The other impact on his form and confidence has been the pressure to replicate his form and level of performance at Ajax immediately for Spurs and, as we’ve seen with other signings like Erik Lamela especially, these things can take time and heaping expectation onto a player still so young is putting more pressure on the young man.
Maybe it’ll do him some good to be out of the spotlight for a few weeks and focus on his recovery and then training as he moves towards full fitness again. When he eventually does come back into the team, there’ll be more understanding and he’ll be afforded a little more patience due to having just returned from injury.
Meanwhile, the other notable difference between the Eredivisie and the Premier League is the physicality and intensity – it undoubtedly requires far higher fitness level to meet the demands of playing in the Premier League week in week out. It’s not just the stamina and fitness, but the core strength and upper-body strength required. As a fairly slight and slender midfielder, four weeks in the gym lifting weights and doing sit-ups certainly won’t do him any harm.
And, plus in the meantime, Villas-Boas can give an opportunity to January signing Lewis Holtby who started off this season well and will want to impress the boss to cement his status in the first team. There is nothing like a bit of healthy competition for places to ensure focus and commitment and if Holtby knows he’s got this opportunity he’s going to want to start firing on all cylinders. Likewise, when Eriksen return, he’ll be eager to win his place back. It could be the best thing for all involved.
Finally, having a player of Eriksen’s immense quality can work against a team like Spurs at times – we saw a similar situation unfold with Gareth Bale last season where Spurs became over-reliant on his creative and goal scoring force that a number of other players dropped their level of performance.
The likes of Aaron Lennon, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Lewis Holtby, Emmanuel Adebayor, and Moussa Dembele played most of the season well below their own capabilities. In the absence of a player of that influence, like Eriksen, it gives others a chance to step up to the plate instead of playing second-fiddle or wallflowers.
Without Eriksen pulling the strings in midfield, some other players – like Andros Townsend, Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Nacer Chadli, and Erik Lamela will have to take charge of games and really make their mark for Spurs over the next month or so.
image: © martini_dk