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Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte has defended his decision to leave Christian Eriksen on the bench, insisting he's doing what's best for the club.
After swapping the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the San Siro last January, Eriksen initially settled well into life at Inter – bagging three goals and racking up four assists in his first 26 appearances for the club.
The 2020-21 campaign, however, has been a completely different story for the Denmark international – who has failed to make any sort of contribution in his last seven appearances.
Eriksen's downturn in form has seen him rewarded with a stint on Inter's bench for their recent matches against Real Madrid and Atalanta.
The 28-year-old has been left disappointed by Conte's decision to sideline him, recently telling TV2 Sport: “This isn’t what I dreamed of.
All players want to play as much as possible, but the coach decides who gets to go on the pitch.
"It is a strange situation, as the fans want to see me playing more and so would I, but the coach has different ideas and as a player, I have to respect that.”
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Eriksen's stint on the bench was put to Conte during an interview with Gazetta dello Sport, in which the former Chelsea boss insisted it's not his job to look out for individual players.
He said: "All the choices I make are always and only for the good of Inter not for the good of the single player.
"Players must be functional to an idea and a project in order to be competitive at national and international level.
"The modern footballer must be fast, strong, resistant. I take the technique for granted if you join a club like Inter."
Eriksen's descent down the San Siro pecking order has convinced his countryman Michael Laudrup that he should end his brief stay in Milan.
"I don't believe he is not suitable for Italian football," the former Juventus forward said of Eriksen during an interview with TV3. "He's obviously a great player.
"He has two midfielders behind him and a giant like Romelu Lukaku who moves a lot and Lautaro Martinez, who is technically valid, ahead of him.
"There can be so many other things behind it. Mentally and culturally and things like that. But I can't believe he can't adapt tactically.
"I see that the local press, especially La Gazzetta dello Sport which is based in Milan. They have journalists who are already writing that his experience is coming to an end.
"They'll get this information from somewhere, maybe also from the club.
"I think Eriksen might want to look around for something new. But it's not easy either. It is not easy to find a club that wants to pay a lot of money for him, considering how little he played."
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