Wednesday 17 January 2018

Mauricio Pochettino: Contract talks may have affected Christian Eriksen's form

Christian Eriksen has signed a new four-year deal at Tottenham
Christian Eriksen has signed a new four-year deal at Tottenham

Mauricio Pochettino believes protracted contract negotiations may have affected Christian Eriksen's form and is pleased that a new deal has now be signed.

The 24-year-old penned a new deal until 2020 having been in discussions with Spurs for some time over an extension to his current contract.

The Denmark international has started all three of Tottenham's Premier League games this season but has yet to hit the heights he did at times last term when he scored six and assisted 13 league goals.

And Pochettino admits he feels Eriksen's recent performances may have been slightly affected by the ongoing wrangling.

"It is important for him and for us," he said on Eriksen's new contract.

"It stops the rumours and he can be focused on playing football only. That is the last time that we talk about Eriksen's contract, there were some rumours. It is good for him and the club and we are all happy.

"To be honest, we were always behind him, trying to help, but subconsciously maybe speculation can affect you when you're in process to negotiate your future."

Eriksen was a top performer in the Tottenham side which made a strong push for the Premier League title last season before they tailed off and finished third.

And Pochettino insists the new deal, reportedly worth around £70,000 a week, is proof that the club remain happy with his displays.

"Sometimes it is difficult but we trust Christian Eriksen, he is happy to stay and there is no doubt he will improve his performance in the future," he added.

"If the club give him a better contract, it's because he deserves it. It's not about money, the performance. It's only about being focused in training, improve fitness, quality, relationship with team-mates on pitch, but I have no doubt about Christian Eriksen's quality, skills.

"The younger and more experienced players have ups and downs during 10 months of the season, and during their careers.

"We want and we expect top performances in every game - to play well, score goals - and that is difficult. But no doubt about Christian he is very important player for us, as he was for a few years."

As well as Eriksen's new deal, Spurs added two new faces to their squad on transfer deadline day as a deal to bring in Georges-Kevin N'koudou from Marseille was finally completed before a late move for France international Moussa Sissoko came off.

Sissoko looked set to join Everton from Newcastle on deadline day before he ended up signing a five-year deal with Spurs.

Pochettino said he was unconcerned by the lateness of the deals and praised Sissoko's ability, with a potential debut at Stoke to come on Saturday.

"I was relaxed, I was in Spain, not too worried about that," he said of deadline day.

"I was happy before in the last few days (of the window) with the squad we had then and when we add three players [in the] last few days.

"I was happy too. We have a squad to compete in different competitions, it will be tough for us the season. I am happy with my squad.

"Sissoko is a player who can help us a lot. You know how he is, last season at Newcastle and the Euros what he did was fantastic. It is another player who can help us.

"He is a player who can bring experience, he is fast, he is strong,

"When you play a lot of games, you need to keep your level. He arrived yesterday and I think he is in good condition. Tomorrow I decide if he's in the squad (for Stoke) or not."

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