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Christian Eriksen looking to come inside from the flank against Benfica.
The option manager Tim Sherwood might like to look at in central midfield instead of Paulinho—certainly if Mousa Dembele is unavailable, and perhaps anyway—is Christian Eriksen.
Selected again after a back injury caused him to miss Tottenham's last two matches, Eriksen's delightful free-kick will be the lasting memory of an otherwise forgettable night for the North Londoners.
The goal was not just easy on the eye, though. It was in keeping with a level of quality the Dane is increasingly showing and best measured by the influence he is having on his team often being behind their best moments.
Eriksen linked nicely with Adebayor, Paulinho and Harry Kane throughout the game. A one-two with Kane led to the young striker winning the free-kick Eriksen would score.
Despite this, there was only so much Eriksen could do out on the left. Against certain opponents, his incisiveness in passing and dribbling can be a welcome counterpoint to the threat of speed posed by Lennon on the opposite flank.
But with Spurs struggling to create many genuine goalscoring opportunities, they might have been better served with Eriksen instigating moves centrally.
The concern here is that the 22-year-old is not especially geared for the battles associated with the position.
Though it's true he would need to better adapt to the all-round demands placed upon a centre midfielder proper, he has shown is not unwilling to get stuck in. He got back to win the ball after Paulinho lost it in the first half, matching him for the same success rate in attempted tackles—as per Squawka.com.
Luka Modric—in many ways Eriksen's stylistic predecessor in North London—had a similar knack for using his reading of the game to suss opponents out. Mostly, though, he showed how a hard-working playmaker of sufficient talent could still thrive in the thick of things.
Sherwood tried Eriksen in centre midfield early on in his tenure. The time may have come for him to try again.