There were recent rumours that Christian Eriksen had rejected a new contract offer and was demanding £150,000-a-week to remain at the club. Despite Eriksen and his agent dismissing the rumours, many fans on Twitter have discussed whether Tottenham had reached the point where it was time to 'upgrade' on the playmaker. Below we'll look at Eriksen's performance from his three previous seasons at the club to assess whether there really is a case to be looking for his successor.
Starting with chances created and assists, the typical benchmark used to measure the quality of a player in Eriksen's position, it is evident that the 2015/16 season was his most prolific yet; creating a chance and registering an assist more often than in the preceding two seasons.
Chances Created & Assists (Per Game)
Whilst last season was his most successful in terms of chances created and assists registered, Eriksen's previous potency in front of goal was found lacking - averaging just 0.17 goals per game in 2015/16, compared with 0.26 in 2014/15, and 0.29 in the 2013/14.
Goals Scored (Per Game)
Although this may point to a decline in performance, it may instead be explained by a change in his role and position within the Tottenham side. The introduction of Dele Alli lead to the Dane starting in his traditional CAM/#10 role on just 3 occasions last season, compared with 16 times in 2014/15 and 25 times in 2013/14. His shift out to the left of the three midfielders in Pochettino's 4-2-3-1 system has led to a rise in Eriksen's work rate and defensive contribution.
The 2015/16 season saw Christian Eriksen cover the fourth most distance per game out of all players in the Premier League, and, in comparison to his previous season at the club, greatly increased the number of tackles and interceptions he averaged per game.
Interceptions & Tackles Won (Per Game)
Whilst there are some possibly valid questions over Eriksen's goal scoring contribution last season, his change in position combined with an improvement across creative, defensive and work-rate statistics ridicule any suggestions that Spurs should replace the Dane due to a decline in his performance. Even if the £150,000-a-week demands are true, Levy & co. would be wrong to think that they can easily find better value at that price elsewhere.
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