Make mine a Danish !
Nielsen, Eriksen and Højbjerg: The Danish Stars of Spurs
After the Danish midfielder Pierre-Emile Højbjerg joined Spurs for a reported fee of £15 million in August 2020, he soon became a key member of José Mourinho’s squad. Højbjerg earned much praise for his performances in many games, and in November, he received a nomination for Premier League Player of the Month.
Højbjerg is not the first Dane to have played for Spurs, though. The other two Danish players that have played for the club are Allan Nielsen and Christian Eriksen. Let’s take a closer look at these three Danish stars of Spurs.
Allan Nielsen was born in the seaport town of Esbjerg in 1971. He first came to prominence at Odense, where he was a member of the team that won the 1993 Danish Cup. Nielsen then played a single season as captain for FC Copenhagen in 1994 before moving to rivals Brøndby IF the following year. With Brøndby IF, Nielsen was named their 1995 Player of the Year. Soon after, he was called up for the Danish national team, making his debut against Armenia on 16 August 1995. He came onto the pitch as a substitute and after only 45 seconds, Nielsen scored the second goal of Denmark’s 2-0 win. In 1996, he transferred from Brøndby IF to Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £1.65 million. His four years with the club turned out to be the most notable period of his career. He scored the winning goal of the 1999 League Cup against Leicester City with a diving header in the last minute, giving Spurs a 1-0 win. Nielsen received the Man of the Match honour for the game.
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Born in the town of Middelfart in 1992, Christian Eriksen began his professional footballing career with the Dutch club Ajax. The midfielder soon established himself as a force to be reckoned with, and he drew comparisons with Michael Laudrup for his traditional number ten role. Eriksen helped Ajax to win the Eredivisie in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
On 30 August 2013, Spurs announced they had signed Eriksen in a transfer deal from Ajax believed to be worth £11 million. Tottenham did not regret its decision. In his debut season in 2014, Eriksen was named Spurs’ Player of the Year, and during his seven years with the club, he was also named Player of the Year for the 2016-2017 season and was included in the 2017-2018 PFA Team of the Year. During his last season with Tottenham Hotspur, Eriksen became the only other player besides David Beckham to record 10+ assists in four successive seasons of the Premier League. Eriksen was also a key member of the squad that reached the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final.
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg was born in Copenhagen in 1995. As a youth, he played for the notable clubs BK Skjold, F.C. Copenhagen and Brøndby IF. In 2012, he signed to Germany’s Bayern Munich, making his senior appearance for the reserve team the same year. Højbjerg made his first-team debut in April 2013 at the age of 17, making him the club’s youngest player in the Bundesliga.
During his 25 appearances with Bayern Munich, Højbjerg helped to win a number of domestic and international tournaments. In 2014, Højbjerg made his debut appearance with the Danish national team, and in 2016, he signed to Southampton for an estimated £12.8 million. After 130 appearances with the Saints, Højbjerg was looking for a better club, and in 2020, he found it when he signed to Spurs.
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