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Christian Eriksen hasn't been himself. Is it time to bench him for his own good?

He's a brilliant player who is just going through a bit of an early-season slump.

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Before we even start, let's get one thing straight. Christian Eriksen is a quality footballer. Overall he's performed very well for Tottenham since he signed from Ajax in the Summer of 2013. He's still only 24 and has tremendous potential that I think he's only just started to fulfill.

That doesn't mean he's immune to slow patches. It's undeniable that he's going through one right now. Denmark didn't go to the Euros this past summer, but it's still entirely possible that Eriksen is shaking off a bit of rust that players will naturally gather during the summer.

The Dane was inactive, by his usual standards, today against Palace. As he was away to Everton last week. I'm attributing his performances to early-season rust because he's struggling in areas that he never really struggles in. He's given the ball away more times than he's connected a successful advancing pass, and his first touch hasn't been up to what we've come to expect from Christian.

These are temporary difficulties, and I fully expect to see Eriksen regain his form sooner rather than later.

When Christian is at his best he's one of our best. But, because of the position he plays in, he doesn't have the undroppable status that players like Hugo Lloris, Toby Alderweireld, and Harry Kane have when they are healthy.

If we didn't have Dele Alli sitting on the bench this wouldn't even be a discussion. Spurs are blessed in that they are able to have talented players among the substitutes who can come in and change the game. Dele did that today from the moment he stepped on the pitch. Why can't that be Eriksen next week?

Dele also struggled on day one at Everton, but maybe today's impressive appearance off the bench is what gets him into a groove. He should start against Liverpool next weekend in Eriksen's place.

Mauricio Pochettino may decide to play a bit more conservatively against Liverpool than he did against Palace. This could mean a place for Eriksen at the expense of Vincent Janssen and at the expense of playing two strikers, but I hope Vincent is a starter. Liverpool's defense has been noticeably bad this season, and they may be incapable of containing the blossoming Kane-Janssen partnership.

And I really like the idea of Eriksen coming into the game in the second half to change things up, or to turn the screws on Liverpool. Like Dele today, he could benefit from running at tired players when the game has become stretched.

He may not deserve a contract worth £150,000 a week, but rarely does anyone at Tottenham. Eriksen himself has denied that he's even asking for that much.

A contract extension between the club and the player is inevitable, as is a return to form for Eriksen.

If you're doubting him, remember how he shined in some of the darkest days under Tim Sherwood. Remember his clutch late winners and his amazing free kicks.

He'll get his goals and he'll get his assists, even if they're not flowing right now. A player like Eriksen doesn't stay down for long. A jump-starting appearance off the bench next week may just be what he needs.