But these heartbreaking images of his teammates forming a human shield around him when he was being handled on the pitch, and his partner running onto the pitch in tears, stand in stark contrast to where Eriksen is today. It was a wonderful recovery.
The playmaker was later equipped with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), a type of pacemaker designed to prevent fatal cardiac arrest by shock discharge to restore a regular heart rhythm.
Former club Inter Milan terminated his contract – Serie A rules do not allow players to play in Italy’s top flight with an ICD installed – but he refused to give up his ambition to return to a great game.
The 30-year-old said in January that his heart was “not a problem” and later that month he signed for English Premier League club Brentford.
He made his West London debut at the end of February – 259 days after he passed out – to rapturous applause when he came off the bench in a home loss to Newcastle, before starting with back-to-back victories.
At his best, Eriksen is one of the most creative and effective midfielders in the game.
United manager Eric Ten-Haeg is leading a major overhaul at Old Trafford and fans are hoping characters like Eriksen will overcome years of inefficiency.
In seven years at Tottenham and a brief stint at Brentford, Eriksen made 237 Premier League appearances, scoring 52 goals and providing 71 assists.
The midfielder has made 115 appearances for Denmark, scoring 38 goals for his country.
Manchester United are a special club and I can’t wait to get started,” Eriksen said in a statement released on Friday. “I’ve had the honor of playing at Old Trafford many times, but to do so in the red United shirt is an amazing feeling.”
“I have seen Eric’s work at Ajax and I know the level of detail and preparation he and his team work with every day. It is clear that he is a fantastic coach,” he added.
“Having spoken to him and learned more about his vision and how he wants the team to play, I am even more looking forward to the future. I still have big ambitions in the game and I know that I can achieve a lot. and it’s the perfect place to continue my journey.”