Since the unexpected arrival of Christian Eriksen in January, Brentford have gone from relegation candidates to a team comfortably in 14th position, seven points clear of the drop zone.
The Bees have won six of the seven Premier league matches in which the Dane has started, after being winless in the previous eight league games before he signed. The only defeat came in their most recent match against Manchester United, with their Premier League status now effectively secure.
Eriksen’s return was unexpected after his near fatal cardiac arrest at Euro 2020. The former Tottenham man was released by Inter Milan shortly after the incident due to Serie A rules regarding players not being allowed to play with pacemakers, something fitted to Eriksen’s heart to prevent a recurrence.
Brentford’s expected goals per game has risen dramatically in the six games that Eriksen has started since his signing. This included a shock 4-1 victory against west London rivals Chelsea at Stamford bridge.
Eriksen also has a higher expected assists tally than the rest of his Brentford teammates. He averages 0.35 a game, which is attributed to the amount of passes he makes into key areas, something Brentford were lacking before his arrival.
Despite the fact that Brentford lost 3-0 at Old Trafford against Manchester United, Eriksen has clearly brought something to the team that they were previously lacking.
As seen below, in the six games before Eriksen’s arrival, Brentford’s expected goals per game (XG) was far lower than it was in the first six games Eriksen had started for the club.
Brentford were struggling for form before the Danish international arrived, but the first six games in which he started saw a clear rise in Brentford’s XG per game.
As well as this, despite only signing in January, Eriksen has the fifth most assists in the Premier league of any Brentford player this season, despite only playing in eight league games, and only starting seven. ‘The Bees’ will hope to extend his contract, as he only signed for six months, but this might be a difficult task considering his form, with bigger clubs surely taking an interest.
All data provided by understat.com