Christian Eriksen looks set to be offered a route back into football by Premier League outfit Brentford.
The Danish star hasn’t played a professional game since suffering a cardiac arrest while representing his country at Euro 2022, and strict rules in Serie A governing those with heart defibrillators fitted meant that former club Inter Milan had to terminate his contract.
If Eriksen were to accept Brentford’s offer, it would mark his return to football after more than six months on the sidelines and bring about a reunion with Tottenham two years after he left the club.
The 29-year-old has reiterated his desire to play in the World Cup at the end of this year in Qatar, and his international redemption could be forged with the Bees, whose manager Thomas Frank and eight first-team players are from Denmark.
“My goal is to play in the World Cup in Qatar. I want to play,” Eriksen confirmed.
“That’s been my mindset all along. It’s a goal, a dream.
“Whether I’ll be picked is another thing. But it’s my dream to come back. I’m sure I can because I don’t feel any different. Physically, I’m back in top shape.”
Can Players with Defibrillators Allowed to Play in the Premier League?
Many watching Denmark’s game against Finland at Euro 2020 will never forget the haunting moment that Eriksen collapsed on the pitch.
The midfielder received life-saving treatment on the pitch, and later it was revealed he had ‘died’ for five minutes before being resuscitated.
After being diagnosed with a rare heart defect, Eriksen was fitted with an ICD – an implantable cardioverter defibrillator – that is connected to his heart with wires. This sends electrical impulses to the organ when it detects an irregular rhythm.
However, rules in Italy decree that those with an ICD fitted are not allowed to play contact sports in the country. The director of the Italian Football Federation, Francesco Braconaro, confirmed that Eriksen can only return to Serie A once/if his ICD is removed.
“Right now, Eriksen could not be eligible to play, he said. “If the player’s ICT is removed because the pathology has been resolved, he can return to Inter.”
In December, it was confirmed that the 29-year-old and Milan had mutually agreed to part ways.
Happily, there are no such rules in the Premier League and many other European leagues, and so the Dane would be free to negotiate a move to a new club in January.
Others have gone on to forge successful careers after having an ICD fitted, and former Manchester United defender Daley Blind is one such star – he is still a pivotal figure at Dutch champions Ajax. The 31-year-old’s device was even triggered during a pre-season game against Hertha Berlin, but happily he was fine after being substituted.
Daniel Engelbrecht, who played in the lower leagues in Germany, continued playing after having an ICD fitted, and he continued to score goals for his club Stuttgarter Kickers. However, after learning his device had saved his life on three separate occasions while playing, he retired and moved into coaching.