Fabrice Muamba is ‘anxious’ about Christian Eriksen’s Premier League return after Brentford offer

Fabrice Muamba is worried by the prospect of Christian Eriksen signing for Brentford following the Denmark international’s Euro 2020 cardiac arrest last year. 

Sportsmail revealed on Monday that Eriksen, who has not played since collapsing during Denmark’s opening game of last summer’s European Championships against Finland in June, has been offered a short-term deal by Brentford.

The 29-year-old midfielder said earlier this month that he intended to return to football to play for Denmark at the World Cup in Qatar, but his future is still up in the air.

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Eriksen’s former club Inter Milan terminated his contract in December because the heart starter device he had implanted following his cardiac arrest is not permitted in Italy’s Serie A.

Muamba himself was forced to retire at the age of 24 after collapsing on the pitch in an FA Cup match at Tottenham in 2012 and was technically ‘dead’ for 78 minutes. 

Fabrice Muamba admits he is concerned by Christian Eriksen returning to the football pitch

Eriksen has been offered a short-term deal by Brentford just six months after his cardiac arrest

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‘Like everyone else, I am excited for Christian Eriksen that he could be returning to the Premier League … but I am sure you can understand why I am anxious too,’ Muamba told The Times.  

‘As someone who has suffered heart failure on the football pitch… I find myself struggling to think I could go to watch Christian play,’ he added.

‘The medical help that Christian received so quickly and effectively, conscious as he left the stadium after his cardiac arrest, is perhaps one reason why he can hope to resume his career.

‘Daley Blind plays with a pacemaker, so it can be done at the highest level. But it’s not just physical condition but the psychological aspect and the feelings of family because it can be toughest for them.’

Eriksen collapsed while playing for Denmark in their Euro 2020 opener against Finland in June

Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest in 2012 while playing for Bolton and never played again

Sportsmail revealed on January 4 that Eriksen was attracting interest from English clubs and was likely to begin training with a team this month.

It is understood Brentford have offered him an initial six-month deal, although Sportsmail has been told no further talks with the player’s representatives have been held for more than a week.

Eriksen remains in negotiations with other clubs. Brentford are understood to be one of four from the Premier League and about a dozen globally.

A decision is not expected until later this month, although he favours a move to England. Eriksen was settled in London during his six-and-a-half years at Tottenham and would welcome the chance to return to the city.

Thomas Frank’s (L) side offered Eriksen (R) a six-month deal with an option of a further year

The 29-year-old worked under Brentford boss Thomas Frank in Denmark’s youth ranks and has several international team-mates in the Bees dressing room, including midfielders Mathias Jensen and Christian Norgaard, and defender Mathias Jorgensen.

Clubs in Holland and Germany have also made contact, as well as teams from US Major League Soccer, though the latter option seems unlikely.

Eriksen would, however, need to be assessed by a cardiac specialist before being allowed to play in England.

Eriksen revealed that his goal is to return for Denmark in time for this winter’s Qatar World Cup

‘My goal is to play in the World Cup in Qatar,’ Eriksen told Danish broadcaster DR this month. ‘I want to prove I have moved on and that I can play for the national team again. It’s up to the manager to assess my level but my heart is not an obstacle.’ 

Professor Sanjay Sharma, chair of the FA’s expert cardiac consensus panel, said in November: ‘If he did decide to come to the UK, we would respect athlete autonomy and there would be a shared decision-making process.

‘He’d be the first player in this country that’s ever played with a defibrillator. It would be a novel situation for all of us and we’d have to somehow deal with that.’

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  • Fabrice Muamba: I’d be worried for Christian Eriksen if he played again | Sport | The Times