Christian Eriksen has a winning aura but will get no special treatment from his new team-mates, insists skipper Pontus Jansson. And the former Swedish international believes that Ivan Toney and Josh Dasilva will be as important as the new signing once they hit full fitness.
“I’ve played with players like Christian before – Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) for the national side and they just have that something special,” said Pontus, talking to the written media after Brentford drew with Crystal Palace on Saturday. “He’s up there as one of the best players I've trained with, but we’ll treat him as normal player. Of course he’s a very good player, but if he's an opponent on the training pitch we’ll tackle him. There will be no special treatment.”
The squad are going out of their way to make the 109-times capped Dane welcome, but Pontus is keen to play down the superstar status and added “As far as we’re concerned he’s just a normal player.”
Pontus continued: “He’s very modest but came in with that aura of having played for some of the best teams in the world and winning Serie A with Inter, so it’s a massive boost for me, for the club, for the players and for everyone. We can’t wait to see him on the pitch with us, but Ivan and Josh can be the difference too.
“Christian talked to us about what happened last summer, how he wants to put that behind him. It’s just the past. Now he wants to come back, train hard and play for us.”
Despite wanting three, Pontus was satisfied with the point from Palace and pointed to recent strong and consistent performances as a real sign of the side’s development.
“Of course you want three points," he said. "But we got the point, clean sheet and a solid performance so there were a lot of positives. We look at our performances, not only results and we’re quite satisfied with them. We want more points, but now we have 24 so we’ll take it game by game. If we perform well, we’re going to be fine and the points are definitely going to come.”
Pontus stressed the importance of ending the losing run, but urged fans to consider the opposition: “You can’t forget that the last four or five games we’ve played against very good teams," he added. “Southampton we weren’t happy with, but against Manchester United we should have been three up at half time and against City we were in it for a long time and apart from the two mistakes, defended very well."
He added: “It was important to get to a point on the board again. A clean sheet and solid performance was good.”
The managed return of Christian Eriksen will be another big boost for the Bees after an injury-dogged season, and Pontus joked: “He is the best player in our squad but we’re not far away from him. Zlatan had ten xxxx players around him at international level but Christian will be surrounded by ten good ones.”