What Tottenham Fans Can Expect From Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
Hojbjerg is set to join Spurs | Robin Jones/Getty Images

Southampton midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has signed for Tottenham in a deal believed to be worth around £15m.

The 25-year old came through the ranks at Bayern Munich, before spending four years at Southampton.

So what exactly would the Dane bring to the north London side?

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
The Dane signed for Southampton in 2016 from Bayern Munich | James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Well, while he may not be the marquee signing that some Spurs fans will be after, he could be an important piece in Jose Mourinho’s puzzle.

Firstly, Hojbjerg is a more defensively orientated midfielder, and if there’s one thing we know about Mourinho, it’s that he loves his disciplined midfielders.

In every successful Mourinho side, there has been a top class defensive midfielder – whether it be Claude Makelele at Chelsea, Javier Zanetti at Inter, Sami Khedira at Real Madrid, or Nemanja Matic at Chelsea again.

This is an area Spurs have lacked in for some time. Eric Dier was their only real experienced option, and now he has begun to move into a centre back role.

Eric Dier
Eric Dier prefers to play in defence | Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

So while Hojbjerg fits the mould of what Mourinho would want, is he actually good enough? Is he the ‘top class defensive midfielder’ Spurs need? Well, here’s what the numbers say.

One thing that Hojbjerg ranks highly in is his ability to win the ball. The former Bayern man made 80 tackles last season, the 17th most in the league, and 46 interceptions, ranking 33rd. The only player currently on Spurs’ books who ranks higher than Hojbjerg in either department is Ivorian full back Serge Aurier.

Another area that the Dane excels in is his energy and work rate. Prior to the restart, he had ran 284.17km in the Premier League – covering more ground than any player in the Tottenham squad.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
Hojbjerg is near the top of some of the league’s defensive stats | Robin Jones/Getty Images

But how much will he contribute going forward? Not much is the answer, unfortunately. In his four seasons at St Mary’s, Hojbjerg bagged just four goals and recorded a further four assists.

However, that’s not why he’s being brought in. His ball-winning abilities will give the likes of Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele the freedom to attack, and with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min in front of them, there will be little demand for Hojbjerg to be banging them in.

His signing may also mean the decline in usage of the Harry Winks-Moussa Sissoko midfield combination. While the two remain decent players in their own right, when paired together Tottenham often look bereft of ideas going forward.

Hojbjerg may not be the superstar that will get fans excited, but he could turn out to be a shrewd signing and a crucial cog in the Spurs side.



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