United to miss Eriksen for three months

Christian Erik­sen has been ruled out until April at the earliest, after being forced off in Manchester Unit­ed’s FA Cup win over Reading.

The midfielder, who was caught by a tackle from Andy Carroll, left Old Trafford on crutches after the 3-1 win on Sat­urday and now looks set to miss a significant amount of United’s run-in.

“While investigations are continuing, initial assessments indicate that Eriksen is likely to be out until late April or early May,” Man Utd announced on their official website.

The 30-year-old has been a key figure for Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag this season, recording seven assists and scoring once in 19 Premier League appearances.

Speaking in a press conference ahead of United’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg with Not­tingham Forest, Ten Hag explained he has options to cover Eriksen’s absence but admitted it would be hard to replace the Dane’s quality in attacking areas.

“He’s disappointed and we’re disappointed, but it happens in top football. You have to deal with it,” said Ten Hag.

“We have players in midfield, good players, who can fill the gap. Every player has their own charac­teristics and identity. Eriksen brings top quality to our squad and some characteristics are hard to replace, for instance his quality in the final third.”

Asked about Fred playing a key role as United look to replace Eriksen, Ten Hag said: “Fred’s playing with Casemiro in the Brazil squad, that’s not the worst squad in the world!

“They have so many choices they can make but they prefer to play them together. Fred can contribute a lot to the team. He has a lot of qualities and I think Casemiro and Fred are a good partnership.”

Reacting to the news, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher said Eriksen would be a miss for United, given the impact he’s had in the middle of the park for them, but suggested they have the cover to maintain the momentum which has pushed them up into the Champi­ons League qualifying places.

“It’s a big blow because the midfield has been the biggest turn­around for Man Utd this season, with Casemiro being there, Eriksen alongside him and Bruno Fer­nandes in front of them,” said Car­ragher. “Fred and Scott McTominay have been much maligned over the last couple of years. A lot of that has been harsh. Fred alongside Casemiro – you’re talking about Brazil’s central midfield.” -Sky Sports

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