‘Making other players better’ – Hojbjerg interview from May shows why Spurs want him

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Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg looks like he will become Tottenham’s first senior signing this summer, with reports indicating that an announcement is likely next week (Football Insider).

Hojbjerg made a name for himself during his years at Bayern Munich, as well as loan spells as Bundesliga clubs Augsburg and Schalke.

He then made the move to Southampton in 2016 where he took to the Premier League like a duck to water, showcasing is tough tackling and leadership skills.

With Spurs selling the likes of Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama, while Eric Dier has dropped into defence, there seemed to be a defensive midfield vacancy in North London.

Some Spurs fans may have been left wondering what the Danish enforcer can bring to a Jose Mourinho side, and the man himself revealed all earlier this year.

Hojbjerg explained what his main attributes are and how he tries to make the players around him better.

The Evening Standard have relayed an interview that the midfielder gave to the Football Ramble Daily back in May, in which he highlighted how he likes to take responsibility on the pitch and become a leader in the dressing room.

Hojbjerg is quoted as saying: “I need to take the responsibility in the game to bring. My idea of playing, of who I was, was always taking responsibility, always in the difficult moments as well. But ‘responsibility’ is not always taking the ball and drilling past five guys and trying to score.

“My biggest strength is making other players better, you know. Supporting them, playing the right balls, doing the right runs, fighting for them, feeding them, analysing the game, reading the game, playing the game as it should be played.

“There are games where you have to play tougher, be tougher, there are games where you have to be more composed, games where you have to find the space a bit more wide or a bit more inside.

“So to read the game, or to make my team-mates better, or the best players in the team even better, that’s what I love doing and what I do the best.

“Of course I have qualities, of course I know what to do with the ball, but to be the guy who brings the team together to get the best out of everyone is what I really feel very comfortable in and strong in.

“Sometimes saying the right thing is not always the easiest thing. You’ve got to take the hit, the fight and the confrontation. But also put your arm around to support, be positive, be creative. All these parts of a football player’s personality is important if you want to be a leader, not just for one game but for 15 years of your career.

“Mainly it’s about responsibility. Take the responsibility but don’t try to do it alone and get the best people to do the best possible things.”

Spurs Web Opinion

As some have already pointed out, Hojbjerg might well be a better fit for a Mourinho team than he was for a Hasenhuttl side. Therefore, it is possible that he might raise his game when playing with better players and when his tactical responsibilities are more clearly defined. However, I am not convinced that Hojbjerg will be the missing piece to our midfield puzzle as some seem to believe. From what I have seen at Southampton, he seems like a more physical and more defensively aware version of Winks. It remains to be seen how successful he will be at Spurs.

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