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Mourinho hints Eriksen could be marginalised at Spurs

The Portuguese claims he will make a decision regarding the Dane’s selection that ‘will be based on a perspective of a future’.

Jose Mourinho pictured with Christian Eriksen.
Jose Mourinho pictured with Christian Eriksen.

JOSE MOURINHO has suggested that Christian Eriksen will have to be content with a bit-part role at Tottenham if he continues to push for a move away from north London.

Eriksen was introduced as a second-half substitute during Mourinho’s first game in charge of Spurs on Saturday.

Spurs secured a 3-2 victory over West Ham at the London Stadium thanks to goals from Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane, ending a 10-month wait for an away victory in the Premier League.

When asked post-match why Eriksen started on the bench against the Hammers, Mourinho responded: “It’s not just about continuity (Eriksen being out). Continuity is very important but our future is also very important.”

The Denmark international expressed a desire to leave Tottenham over the summer, amid reported interest from Real Madrid and Manchester United.

Eriksen ended up staying put for the start of the 2019-20 campaign, but with his existing contract set to expire next summer, speculation over his future continues to swirl.

Ahead of Tottenham’s Champions League meeting with Olympiacos on Tuesday, Mourinho has hinted that the midfielder’s playing time will be restricted while he courts a transfer away from the club.

My decisions about starting him or not starting, selecting or not selecting, will be based on a perspective of a future,” he said.

“I cannot hide that. We have a present and, in football, we have to focus on the present. In this case, the game tomorrow, but it’s a club where you have to think about the future.”

Mourinho did, however, insist that Eriksen will remain an important part of the squad “until the last day” of his spell in north London.

He added: “These important decisions obviously they have an influence on my decisions as a head coach, but the important thing is that Christian staying or leaving, he’s that type of guy who easily I could understand.

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“Proper guy, loves the club, loves his colleagues, amazing colleague in the dressing room. So it doesn’t matter what, he’s one of us until the last day.”

Spurs will reach the Champions League knockout phases once again if they beat Olympiacos at home, and will harbour ambitions of reaching a second successive final come May.

Mourinho has already won the competition twice and has his sights set on a third triumph, expressing his belief in a squad which shouldn’t be “afraid of anybody”.

“Do I want to win it a third time? Of course, I would love it, but I know the difficulties of it,” he said

“But, with these boys, I will never be afraid of any Champions League match that comes into our faces.

I repeat, we need to qualify, that is the focus. I always say that.

“We have to qualify, but, as I was saying, give me time to work, give me time to float my ideas with these boys and I will have no problem at all going to any stadium at all to face any big opponent in Europe or in England.

“We are not going to be afraid of anybody.”

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