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31 Jan, 2022 10:54

Cardiac arrest victim Eriksen seals surprise deal (VIDEO)

The Denmark star has returned to the Premier League after receiving a Covid vaccine and carrying out a medical assessment
Cardiac arrest victim Eriksen seals surprise deal (VIDEO)

Former Spurs Player of the Year Christian Eriksen looks set to return to Premier League action less than eight months after suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch that left many fearing for the Denmark midfielder's life.

Midfielder Eriksen collapsed to the turf in Copenhagen when his nation played Finland at Euro 2020, causing his horrified teammates to form a circle around him before he was resuscitated, taken to hospital and fitted with a pacemaker-style heart device.

That led many to assume the 29-year-old would never play elite football again, and his club at the time, Inter Milan, were forced to release the playmaker because of rules in Italy around footballers being allowed to play while wearing the device.

Now Premier League newcomers Brentford have capitalized on Eriksen being allowed to play on in England by capturing a player who was one of the best in the top flight during his seven years with Tottenham.

"I am happy to announce that I have signed for Brentford Football Club," Eriksen said in a video message. "I can't wait to get started and hopefully I'll see you all very soon."

Brentford confirmed that Eriksen had "recently" received a Covid vaccine, allowing him to travel more freely to London as part of UK rules.

The five-time Danish Footballer of the Year could begin training with the out-of-form Bees, who were promoted last season and are currently eight points clear of the Premier League relegation zone, during the second week of February as he begins what he hopes will be a successful bid to go to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

“I am looking forward to working with Christian again. It has been a while since I last coached him, and a lot has happened since then.

"Christian was 16 at the time and has become one of the best midfield players to appear in the Premier League. He has also won trophies all over Europe and become the star of the Danish national team.

“We have taken an unbelievable opportunity to bring a world-class player to Brentford," said boss Thomas Frank, commenting on Eriksen's acceptance of a six-month contract.

"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 worked with Eriksen when they were both part of the Denmark under-17s set-up.

“At his best, Christian has the ability to dictate games of football," observed the coach. "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. I expect him to have an impact in the dressing room and at the training ground."

Phil Giles, Brentford's Director of Football, said the club had initially discussed signing Eriksen when he made an emotional departure from the reigning Italian champions.

"It is fantastic that he is now with us," he said of the 109-cap international. “Naturally, the process of signing Christian was more elongated than most transfers.

"I understand that many people will have questions about the process. In order to respect Christian’s medical confidentiality, we won’t be going into any details.

"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.

"Now Christian has made the decision to sign for Brentford, all parties want to focus fully on football.

“We are sure that Christian will make a big impact at Brentford and on the Premier League between now and the end of the season.”

Brentford have a testing February as they attempt to secure their Premier League status.

Their schedule begins with a trip to Everton in the FA Cup on February 5, followed by trips to Manchester City – the Premier League title-holders – and Arsenal either side of a home game against Crystal Palace.

Eriksen's announcement was the most high-profile early signing in the Premier League on the final day of the English transfer window, which allows players to arrive from other clubs until midnight on January 31 2022.