Spurs are said to be in talks to sign Southampton midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg with the Dane pushing for a move to North London, according to Sky Sports.
Hojbjerg expressed his desire to move on from the Saints back in April, with just one year left on his contract, and has since been stripped of the captaincy.
Everton is set to rival Spurs for the 24-year-old and, according to The Telegraph, have already made an £18 million bid.
However, Spurs are set to be in the driving seat with Hojbjerg wanting to join Mourinho at Spurs and play European football, which Everton are set to miss out on. The North London club will also include current Saints loanee Kyle Walker-Peters, who has impressed on the South Coast, to sweeten the deal.
With the Danish midfielder inching closer to being Spurs’ first signing of the transfer window. We look at what the 24-year-old will bring to Spurs squad.
Across the 2019/20 season, Spurs defence has become fragile and broken. Since the restart of the Premier League, Mourinho looks to have implanted a more stubborn approach in the backline, conceding six goals in seven games and also keeping three clean sheets.
Spurs still lack a defensive midfielder to sit in front of the back four and protect them. Harry Winks is known to be a player to control the game and slow down the tempo if needed. Moussa Sissoko has been the chosen player to do the job but still lacks the quality for a Champions League side.
Both players aren’t prepared to do the dirty work and instead do the easy work, which exposes Spurs’ defence considerably. Bringing in Hojbjerg will solve a major area problem for Spurs and Mourinho. All you have to do is look at the stats and supporters will see what Hojbjerg brings to the squad, that Winks or Sissoko doesn’t.
Throughout the season, Winks has made an average of 1.3 tackles per game, identical to Sissoko. Whereas Hojbjerg made 2.5 tackles per game. The Danish midfielder also provided more interceptions to the two with 1.4 per game, compared to 1.1 and 0.8. (WhoScored)
Even though Hojbjerg is regarded as a defensive midfielder, he can also pick a pass out and potentially provide the attacking players with opportunities. For Instance, Hojbjerg made 0.9 key passes per game. Winks and Sissoko made around 0.4 less, preferring to play around the back or sideways. (WhoScored)
Allows Mourinho to select more attacking players
As reported by The Guardian, signing Hojbjerg would be to play a disciplined role in front of the back four. With Tanguy Ndombele and Giovanni Lo Celso in more advanced positions. Mourinho would reportedly look to play a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1.
Spurs’ record-breaking signing – Ndombele – has struggled in his first season in the Premier League, with injuries and fitness being the major issues. The arrival of Hojbjerg could revive the Frenchman’s career, who will be pushed into an offensive role.
Spurs supporters have seen glimpses of quality from Ndombele. His passing could be a major asset in trying to break down stubborn defences. The same goes for Lo Celso, who again has been utilised as a box-to-box midfielder. Leading to only one assist and zero goals in the Premier League.
Both players can easily break defences apart with their passing and will make Spurs click in the offensive area. At the moment, they are being asked to do dirty and defensive work, affecting Spurs’ quality going forward.
Is Hojbjerg the right signing?
Aboustley! Spurs fans saying no and expecting world-class midfielders to walk through the door are delusional.
Whilst, Hojbjerg is not the most thrilling signing, he ticks all the boxes that Spurs have been missing this season.
Plus, in an environment where clubs will struggle to spend money this summer. Hojbjerg is only available for £25 million, and his price tag could go further down, with just one year left on his contract.
Above all, he was a captain and leader for Southampton, which Spurs are considerably missing. The likes of Winks, Sissoko, Lo Celso or Ndombele are not leaders. Clearly obvious over the past few months.
Hojbjerg will be an excellent signing for Spurs and Mourinho ahead of next season.
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