Eriksen has made a remarkable return but belongs on bigger stage

Christian Eriksen has made a stunning return to football with Brentford and has helped secure their place in the Premier League – but he belongs on a bigger stage and now the Danish star must ask himself where his future lies

  • Since his return he has helped Brentford pull away from the drop zone
  • Brentford are hoping the Dane will stay but he has a decision to make on future
  • Thomas Frank says his compatriot is ‘very happy’ at the south-west London club

Christian Eriksen has found the ideal place to relaunch his career but must soon decide whether Brentford can be his long-term home.

The Dane has made a hugely impressive return to top-level football after suffering a cardiac arrest last June, which many believed would end his career.

The Bees have won all five matches Eriksen has started since he joined in January and are virtually guaranteed a second season in the Premier League.

Christian Eriksen’s time at the club has seen them move away from the drop zone to safety

Yet the 30-year-old’s deal with Brentford lasts only until the end of the campaign. The prospect of someone signing him on a free transfer, when he is healthy and playing so well, is surely too good to resist.

Brentford host Tottenham, where Eriksen spent six and a half years, on Saturday, with Bees boss Thomas Frank hoping his compatriot is enjoying life so much he will decide to stay. Frank said again that there would be no decision before the end of the campaign but will continue to hold talks with Eriksen and his representatives.

‘He is very happy here,’ said Frank. ‘If you look at some of the pictures of our celebrations he always has a big smile on his face. That’s a positive sign.

The Dane has received goodwill from all since his return, especially former teammates

‘I don’t think there will be any decision before the end of the season. Will there be talks? Yes, probably, but no decisions.’

Though Frank said Eriksen was not at his best against Watford, his quality still shone brightly. It was his free-kick in the 95th minute that set up the winner for Pontus Jansson, leaving the Hornets 11 points adrift of safety with six games left.

Yet Eriksen’s technique and vision belong on a higher stage. Last season he helped Inter Milan become champions of Italy. Without the events of June 12, he would have played in the Champions League this term. Nobody could blame him if he felt he deserved another crack at the elite level.

Pontus Jansson and Thomas Frank have led the revival of the club and guided them to safety

How Watford boss Roy Hodgson must wish he had a player like Eriksen. His side were booed off at half-time as they trailed to Christian Norgaard’s goal, but they improved after the break and missed chances after Emmanuel Dennis equalised. Jansson’s winner in stoppage time was harsh on the home side.

Watford are at Manchester City on Saturday and Hodgson said: ‘Who knows, maybe we will pick up points where no one expects us to. But this is not the moment to predict we will sweep the board and beat all the opposition in front of us. If I say that people will laugh at me.’

Player ratings 

Watford (4-3-3): Foster 6; Femenia 6.5 (Cathcart 87min), Kabasele 6, Samir 6, Kamara 6.5; Sissoko 6, Louza 5, Kucka 5.5 (Cleverley 84); Sarr 6.5, Joao Pedro 5.5 (King 84), Dennis 7. 

Scorer: Dennis 55. 

Booked: Kamara, Louza. 

Manager: Roy Hodgson 6.

Brentford (4-3-3): Raya 6; Ajer 5.5, Jansson 6.5, Pinnock 6 (Sorensen 21, 6), Henry 6; Janelt 6.5 (Jensen 74, 6), Norgaard 6.5, Eriksen 7.5; Mbeumo 6.5, Toney 6, Wissa 6 (Ghoddos 66, 6.5). 

Scorers: Norgaard 15, Jansson 90+5. 

Booked: Toney. 

Manager: Thomas Frank 6. 

Referee: Simon Hooper 6. 

Attendance: 20,747. 

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