Christian Eriksen to Arsenal would be a transfer ten years in the making.
It is a decade now since Arsene Wenger identified a then-18-year-old Ajax starlet as a player capable of emulating wonderkids-turned-world-beaters Cesc Fabregas, Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie in North London.
According to the Guardian, Wenger asked Gunners legend Dennis Bergkamp for his opinion of the fresh-faced Danish teenager.
A glowing response from the fabled Dutchman, a coach who would go on to have a major influence on Eriksen’s career, only made the Arsenal boss even more determined to beat the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool to the Scandinavian’s sought-after signature.
Flash forward to mid-November 2020 and, for the first time in nearly a decade, Eriksen to Arsenal feels like a realistic possibility once again.
Wenger’s former captain Mikel Arteta is at the helm these days and, with Arsenal suffering from a chronic lack of creativity in a midfield shorn of Mesul Ozil’s mercurial talents, having failed to score from open play in six hours, FC Inter News reports that they could turn to a former Tottenham Hotspur hero.
Eriksen, it is claimed, has joined Houssem Aouar and Dominik Szoboszlai on the January hit-list.
Eriksen has made no secret of his unhappiness at the San Siro, having started just three times this season under a coach, Antonio Conte, who favours all-action number eights over an orthodox number ten.
But, as Wenger himself told BeIN Sports, via TEAMtalk, last year, this is a man who, alongside Harry Kane, Toby Alderweireld and co, played a major role in transforming an underachieving, post-Bale Spurs side into a bona fide continental force.
Could he do the same at an Arsenal side who find themselves in a similar position to Tottenham circa 2014.
“He is the outstanding player at Tottenham and the worry you can have for Tottenham is can they keep a player of that quality,” Wenger said.
“I think he has developed extremely well. He can score, he can deliver on set-pieces, he can give the final ball, he works very hard for the team. You do not find many players with so many qualities.
“He is the player that [Luka] Modric was before at Tottenham but he scores more goals.”
FC Inter News reports that the Serie A giants will listen to offers in the £25 million bracket.
Whether Arsenal are willing to pay such a fee for a soon-to-be 29-year-old is one question. Whether Eriksen would be willing to don that iconic red shirt after seven years on the other side of the North London divide is another.
But, if Arteta seeks counsel from his old mentor Wenger, then Eriksen may soon be offered an escape route out of his Italian nightmare.