Brentford boss opens up on coaching Spurs star when he was just a teenager

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Brentford head coach Thomas Frank has lavished praise on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg ahead of his side’s trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday.

Hojbjerg has gone from strength to strength since his move to Spurs from Southampton last summer, with the midfielder reaching a milestone of 50 consecutive Premier League starts for the North London club against Leeds two weeks ago.

Frank, who coached the 26-year-old during his time in charge of the Danish youth teams from 2008 to 2013, admitted the midfielder has added more strings to his bow over the past year and a half.

The Brentford boss told 90 min: “I think since he went to Tottenham from day one he’s performed well, but also throughout for two years I think he’s just kept growing.

“And I think he came to Tottenham in a spell where it wasn’t as fluid and successful as it was for the previous three or four years.

“That always makes it a bit more difficult. In that context, I think it’s very impressive how he’s performed, constantly putting an extra layer in his game.”

Frank revealed that even though Hojbjerg started out further up the pitch as a youth footballer, the Spurs man always had the potential to develop into a top-class defensive midfielder.

He said: “I clearly remember I was the Under-17 and Under-19 coach for him. I remember I think coaching an Under-16 game, and after that game against Hungary I thought ‘hmm, you can be a world-class number six’.

“But he was a ten back then and needed to understand the defensive side of the game and he’s developed that.”

The Brentford boss insisted that the Denmark international has the potential to become an even better player and waxed lyrical about his qualities.

Frank added: “I think technically he’s got every pass in him. He’s so composed, you can’t take the ball from him.

“Physically strong, covers a lot of ground, winning his duels, unbelievable character, mentality, leadership. I think he’s got everything in him to grow and raise his game to a higher level.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Hojbjerg may not be as naturally talented as several players in the Tottenham squad but the midfielder’s desire to become the best he can, gives him the edge over many others. The likes of Ndombele and Lo Celso can certainly learn from the 26-year-old’s professionalism and discipline.

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