Christian Eriksen has had a transformative effect on Manchester United, so says club great Paul Scholes.
Eriksen arrived ahead of the new campaign on a free transfer, having restarted his career with Brentford last term following his cardiac arrest at Euro 2020, and has started every game so far under Erik ten Hag.
The former Inter and Tottenham playmaker has emerged as the creative hub of Ten Hag's rejuvenated squad at Old Trafford and delivered a superb display to topple league leaders Arsenal on Sunday.
An assist, a team-leading three key passes and 33 successful passes (also a team high) helped United seal a 3-1 victory.
His tally of key passes was more than the per 90 average of any United midfielder last term (Bruno Fernandes – 2.6), and Scholes believes the Denmark international has been crucial to United's upturn in form.
"Forwards know when the ball's coming, they know they've got a midfield player who is thinking about them even before the ball comes," he said on how Eriksen lifts United's attack.
"They know he's watching, he's looking all the time. He's always scanning the pitch and he's only thinking about going forward. I can't tell you how important that is as a number 10 and as a wide player.
"If you don't have that and you have the players that we've had playing in there who are always facing backwards and going backwards, their movement's a waste of time, so whatever movement they do it doesn't matter.
"You see Bruno [Fernandes], who's so clever to get in those spaces behind the midfield and in front of the back four, but you need someone to find him.
"Christian Eriksen has certainly got that. For a number 10 to have any kind of influence on a football game then they need a midfield player of that kind of quality."
Per 90 minutes this season across his six Premier League appearances, Eriksen averages 65 touches, 1.3 chances created and 6.6 recoveries, signifying his importance to Ten Hag's midfield.