Eriksen is happy to remain with Spurs insists PochettinoAFP
London (AFP) -
Mauricio Pochettino insists Christian Eriksen is happy to stay with Tottenham after the Denmark midfielder failed to get a move during the transfer window.
Eriksen admitted last season that he was interested in a new challenge, sparking talk of a potential move to Real Madrid, Barcelona or Manchester United.
Tottenham boss Pochettino conceded several times he was unsure where Eriksen's future lay and the Argentine opted to leave his playmaker out of the starting line-up twice in the early weeks of the season.
But when the European transfer window closed recently, Eriksen remained with Tottenham, even though he is entering the final year of his contract with the Premier League club.
Asked on Thursday how Eriksen's mood was now, Pochettino told reporters: "He's happy. He was always happy. He never said he wasn't happy here.
"Everyone of course has aims, goals, challenges. I told you before the Arsenal game he was in his right mind and that's why I played him.
"Always he was an important player for us. In our sixth season, we've always appreciated him a lot.
"His qualities are there and important for the team. He's happy and if we believe he deserves to play then he's going to play.
"It's not because he has less than one year on his contract we're going to take a different decision. All decisions are based on performance."
Pochettino had hinted the uncertainty over Eriksen and other Tottenham players including Danny Rose and Jan Vertonghen was part of the reason for his team's slow start to the season.
- Start afresh -
Keen to start afresh, Pochettino spent close to an hour with his squad at Tottenham's training ground on Thursday discussing the objectives for the next few months and the need to get back to winning games consistently.
"The conversation today altogether now is the squad we are going to have until January, when the rumours will appear again," he said.
"It was very good to talk today for nearly one hour and refocus again on our objective.
"To be clear in our minds, to think that the most important is the collective and start to put outside individual situations, all together again and try to create a dynamic and be strong and starting winning games. That's the most important thing for us now."
While Pochettino will be able to call on Eriksen, he will be without Argentina midfielder Giovani Lo Celso until late October.
Lo Celso suffered a hip problem on international duty against Chile and is not expected to return to training for several weeks.
Lo Celso, who joined on loan from Real Betis last month, has only made three substitute appearances for Tottenham.
"Always it's a sad situation, I'm very disappointed. For Giovani, the first months here was to adapt to a new club and new football," Pochettino said.
"Everything he was doing in a very good way. We are all so disappointed because now we need to wait for him.
"In the same way we need to be positive, it's not another way to take it, but we need to be positive and try to provide him with good quality training and recovery."