'Never fun' - Erik ten Hag signing makes honest Manchester United playing time admission

Manchester United players lift the FA Cup trophyManchester United players lift the FA Cup trophy
Manchester United players lift the FA Cup trophy | Manchester United via Getty Images
He has had to accept a reduced role at Man Utd under Erik ten Hag this past season.

Christian Eriksen admits it is 'never fun' not starting matches for Manchester United after a season in which he played a reduced role for the club.

The Denmark international was a key player during his first season at Old Trafford, but saw playing time diminish following an ankle injury, while the emergence of Kobbie Mainoo also hasn't helped his own case.

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Eriksen played more than was initially anticipated during his debut campaign as a United player and made just 12 starts in the Premier League over the past season, a clear indication of his dwindling status at the club.

The 32-year-old remains a valuable member of the dressing room under Erik ten Hag, but he admits it has felt 'different' adjusting to the role of being a squad player.

"For me, the season has been a little different to other seasons," he told TV2 Sport. "It has been a slightly different role. It's new to me, but it's also new to the outside world. It is clear, in relation to how people talk. No, it's the same. Now I was also a bit lucky that I didn't sit on the bench so much when I was younger.

"But I did it once in a while. It's never fun. That's for sure. Personally, you always want to be the one who is chosen first in the team. Sometimes the coach looks the other way. But then I play for United, so there is just a battle for places, because there are a lot of good players."

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Eriksen is entering the final year of his current United deal and is one player who could be sold in the summer if an appropriate offer comes in for him. However, he insists his full focus is on the European Championship in Germany.

He added: "For me, there is full focus on the Euros and then we have to see where we stand. I hope that we will have a great tournament. I hope that we can show ourselves from a different side than what we did in Qatar. I feel that we owe that to ourselves, but also to the people who support us."

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