Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has admitted that Christian Eriksen will be hard to replace following his long-term ankle injury.
The Denmark international suffered the setback in the 3-1 win over Reading in the FA Cup fourth round.
He was spotted leaving Old Trafford on crutches and United have now confirmed that the Dane will be out of action for a while.
After the initial prognosis on the issue, it has been revealed that the midfielder could be sidelined until late April or early May.
Ten Hag has now acknowledged that United will be without a player with ‘top quality’ and he will be ‘hard to replace’ in the team.
He told Manutd.com: “Yeah, but I think you can never fill that because every player has their own characteristics and identity, so another player will always fill it in in a different way.”
“So, it doesn’t mean that you have to be less successful but it’s quite clear that Christian Eriksen, for our squad, brings top quality and he has some specifics that are hard to replace. For instance, his impact in the final third, [with his] final ball.”
Eriksen’s absence is a huge blow for Man Utd
Eriksen has been a key player for United since his free transfer last summer. He has bagged two goals and nine assists from 31 matches this term.
Ten Hag has often relied on him as the creative outlet from the number eight role and he will be a big miss over the next three or so months.
The Dane has been splendid with his ability to pick key passes in the final third and United don’t really have a quality replacement at hand.
Bruno Fernandes can do a similar job but the Portuguese has been almost irreplaceable in the number 10 position during the current campaign.
Judging by Ten Hag’s presser today, United don’t appear to be looking for a stop-gap signing to fill the void. They are set to rely on existing options.
Fred and Scott McTominay are likely replacements but academy duo Zidane Iqbal and Kobbie Mainoo will be hoping to impress the manager as well.
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