Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly looking to finalise the signing of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from Southampton this weekend (Standard).
While the former Saints captain will likely not excite many Tottenham fans, it is important that people realise just how key the signing is for Mourinho and the Lilywhites.
Hojbjerg learned his trade at Bayern Munich and played under Pep Guardiola, registering 25 appearances for the German heavyweights, breaking into the first-team at just 18-years-old (Wikipedia).
Wikipedia list his honours during this time as two Bundesliga titles, a Champions League, a FIFA Club World Cup, and two DFB-Pokal trophies.
At age 20, Hojbjerg moved to Southampton after two successful loan periods at Augsburg and Schalke in the Bundesliga.
Within three years, he was named as captain and became one of the most important figures within the Premier League side’s set-up.
Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur have lost their two best midfield enforcers of the modern era over the past 18 months, with both Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyma being sold.
While Harry Winks, Giovani Lo Celso, Moussa Sissoko, and Tanguy Ndombele each bring something different to the side, none can be described as out-and-out defensive midfielders.
WhoScored reported in late May 2020 that Hojbjerg had won possession in the midfield third more times than any other player in the Premier League this season with 157, the next closest being Jorginho with 126.
In fact, Hojbjerg managed to win possession 18 times against Norwich this season alone, the most recorded in a single match by a Premier League player since before WhoScored started collecting data in 2009/10.
What’s more, the midfield enforcer only has one long-term injury listed on TransferMarkt throughout his entire career, and that came back in the 2013/14 season.
In short, what Spurs are getting is a man who wins the ball back for fun and rarely misses a game through injury, everything they have been missing for well over a year.
Will Hojbjerg set the Premier League alight in a Spurs shirt? No. He will likely quietly go about his business and remain an underrated and under-appreciated force.
However, he could prove to be the key that unlocks the more creative and attacking potential of Giovani Lo Celso, Tanguy Ndombele, Dele Alli, and more.
Watch this space.
Have something to tell us about this article?