Antonio Conte has labelled Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg a warrior following his display in Tottenham’s 2-1 win over Leeds United on Sunday.
Hojbjerg has started all three matches since Conte’s arrival at Spurs, with the Italian playing the Dane alongside Oliver Skipp in midfield in his preferred 3-4-3 formation.
The former Southampton man had even more defensive responsibility on his shoulders for Sunday’s clash, with Oliver Skipp being suspended and Harry Winks taking his place in the starting eleven.
While the 26-year-old was not too influential in the first half as Leeds dominated proceedings, his energy on the ball and leadership qualities came to the fore after the interval as Spurs managed to turn the result around.
Hojbjerg won the ball in midfield and kickstarted attacks on several occasions and his crucial equaliser just before the hour mark proved the catalyst for the home side’s come back.
Instead of celebrating after scoring the goal, the midfielder gestured to his teammates asking them to get the ball to the centre circle.
When asked about Hojbjerg’s actions after putting the ball into the net, Conte told Tottenham’s official website: “He’s a warrior and he understood that 1-1, it’s not enough for us. Today (Sunday), it was important to win.”
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Hojbjerg was always going to be valued highly by Conte, not just because of his tactical discipline but also his leadership skills. This Spurs side arguably lacks an abundance of leaders and so the Dane will likely start every game that he is available to play, at least until Conte rebuilds the squad in his own image.
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