Brighton boss Graham Potter believes Manchester United have made a very shrewd signing in Christian Eriksen, but is hoping the Danish playmaker has a quiet debut at the weekend.
After an excellent six-month spell at Brentford last season, the 30-year-old opted to move to Old Trafford on a free transfer after being chased by a host of top clubs around Europe.
Since he made his debut for the west London club, only Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne created more chances in the Premier League and he looks an ideal fit for new boss Erik ten Hag’s style of play.
Potter is delighted to see Eriksen back playing at the top level, with the former Spurs and Inter man now playing with an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) after his cardiac arrest during Euro 2020, but hopes to keep him quiet during Sunday’s season opener.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday ahead of visiting Old Trafford, Potter said of the Dane: ‘He’s a top player, you can see the influence he had on Brentford when he came. The quality is undeniable.
‘Obviously he’s had his issues which we’re delighted that he’s come through and it’s great to see him back playing because things were not looking so positive at one point – so that’s brilliant.
‘From a football perspective, he’s a great player to have in the Premier League and I’m sure he’ll do well for Manchester United. Hopefully we can delay that good start for a week or so! But he’s a top player.’
Brighton hammered United 4-0 at the backend of last season but Potter is expecting a very different game this time around, while he was full of praise for Ten Hag and feels he has already seen changes implemented in pre-season.
Asked if it is an advantage for Brighton that Ten Hag is yet to manage a Premier League game, Potter replied: ‘I don’t think so, no.
‘I think he’s a fantastic coach, he’s had a great experience and time in Ajax, did a really good job, I really enjoyed his team.
‘So I’m sure he’s ready for the next step. He’ll be looking forward to the game and it will be a positive atmosphere at Old Trafford, so we have to deal with that and be ready to face that challenge.’
He continued: ‘They’re on the back of a disappointing season from their perspective, even though they still finished in the top six – so it shows you the quality they have still even in a disappointing season.
‘They’ve changed coach, you can see in pre-season the impact he’s made. I think the changes they’ve made have been positive.
‘It’s Manchester United at home to Brighton, they’ll be looking to win the game, we understand that. It’s going to be tough, a great challenge for us, Old Trafford is as tough a place as you can go to.’
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