He was the Danish Talent of the Year: 2014. He has won the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal twice, and the prestigious Champions League once. The Dane has won the FIFA Club World Cup as well while playing for Bayern Munich under Pep Guardiola. Not a bad CV for a 24-year-old player, who was the captain of Southampton until recently. Yes, we are talking about Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
Hojbjerg had stints with the academies of BK Skjold, FC Kopenhagen, and Brondby before joining Bayern Munich in 2012 at the age of 17. He became the youngest player ever to play for the Bayern Munich first team in the Bundesliga when he made his debut against FC Nürnberg. Limited chances saw him swap the Bavarian colors for the ones at St Marys in the Premier League. Since then the Dane has established himself as an integral part of the side. He earned the captain’s armband at Southampton until recently, as he got it stripped away.
The 24-year-old has one year remaining in his current contract and has made his desire to leave the Saints public, which agitated the board and made them stip the Dane of his captaincy. Many clubs are interested in his signature, and Tottenham Hotspur is the front runner at the moment.
How well does his stats tell his story?
Are his stats out of this world? No, but aren’t bad either. He averages 2.2 tackles per game and 1.6 interceptions per game while boasting a tackle success percentage of 66. He retrieves the ball 8.4 times a game and has a long ball per game stat of 2.7. These numbers are remarkably impressive, and any team will benefit from Hojbjerg’s signature.
For Southampton, Hojbjerg was always more than just mere numbers. It was his on-pitch skills coupled with his leadership and consistency on and off the field that made him a vital cog at the St Marys.
The future of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: Tottenham?
Should Tottenham go for the Danish midfielder? Definitely yes. He is just 24 years of age and has plenty of high-level experience. The departure of Mousa Dembélé left a big void in the Spurs midfield, and they never really replaced him. So they are in dire need of a proper defensive midfielder and getting a solid player in front of the back four would release the likes of Ndombele (If Mourinho doesn’t sell him) and lo Celso to go further forward and express themselves. Hojbjerg wants to leave, and the Saints are willing to let him go. It’s up to Jose Mourinho and Daniel Levy whether they need to bring the Dane to the club. He will be a good signing for the club and a great addition to Jose’s plan for the Spurs.
They better act fast, as Pep Guardiola might well be looking for reinforcements in his midfield. With David Silva leaving, and Fernandinho not getting any younger, we can’t blame him giving it a go for his former player, can we?