Pierre-Emile Højbjerg

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In before Five Five provides us with posts of Southampton fans absolutely burying Hojbjerg on their forums and posts videos of him ball watching, providing an awful touch, giving the ball away and passing backwards.

 

Five

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Living The Dream The Tottenham Way
In before Five Five provides us with posts of Southampton fans absolutely burying Hojbjerg on their forums and posts videos of him ball watching, providing an awful touch, giving the ball away and passing backwards.

No. People didn't fucking believe me anyway until they went and watched him against Woolwich.
 
Tottenham are in negotiations with Southampton over a deal that would see Pierre-Emile Højbjerg move to north London and Kyle Walker-Peters make a permanent switch in the opposite direction.

There is a growing confidence on all sides that the deal will happen, with José Mourinho having identified Højbjerg as the holding player he needs to rebalance Spurs’s midfield. At 24, the one-time Bayern Munich wunderkind fits Tottenham’s ideal profile for a signing. Walker-Peters has enjoyed himself since joining Southampton on loan in January – he has played regularly since the Premier League’s restart – and he is open to continuing his career at St Mary’s.

The biggest hurdle to overcome concerns the valuation of the players. Southampton had put a £35m price tag on Højbjerg before lockdown but his situation has since changed. The club have stripped him of the captaincy and he has been left out of the team in recent games. With one year to run on his contract, Southampton would seek about £25m for him. Spurs rate Walker-Peters highly but Southampton will not pay a premium for a player with relatively little league experience. There is also the deflationary impact of coronavirus to consider.

Mourinho is under pressure to make a success of Spurs’s record signing, Tanguy Ndombele, who joined last summer from Lyon for a little under £60m on a lucrative six-year contract. The midfielder’s value has decreased after a difficult first season but it would be hard to see Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman, cutting any sort of losses on such an outlay.

The discussion at Spurs has turned to how Mourinho – who has used Ndombele only sparingly – can create a platform for him to thrive. Signing Højbjerg to play a disciplined role in front of the back four with Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso, another expensive recruit, in more advanced positions in a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 has merit.

Mourinho said last week that Spurs would not stand in Walker-Peters’ way should the 23-year-old wish to move on. “The general feeling is there’s a place for him here,” Mourinho said. “But if his desire is to be playing every time and leaving the club in search of happiness, I don’t think we’d stop him. He’s a player with a good value in the market but I don’t think we’d stop him doing it.”


 
Hojbjerg is untested in the PL as an out and out DM, but he wins a lot of tackles and interceptions as a box-to-box. It's a bit of a risk, but he's got a lot of good qualities for a DM role.
 
What stats in particular?

Taken from footballwhispers:

The Dane averages 10.59 ball recoveries per 90. No-one in the Premier League has managed more this season.

When compared to midfielders who have played in at least 20 per cent of available minutes this season, Højbjerg ranks 15th for tackles (2.64 per 90). He is 19th for interceptions (1.54). Most impressively, only Paul Pogba betters him for possession regains in the middle third (5.96).


Areas where he can improve but in a new system, new role I’d be happy with someone top of ball recoveries and middle third possession regains and I’m sure he’d help to add a layer to our defensive frailties whilst not breaking the bank to do so. Especially like that he has captain pedigree and has already played at one of the big clubs in Bayern Munich.
 
Link doesn’t work, article mentioned in previous post below:

It's hard to pin down exactly what certain players do in order to earn their reputation. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg is one of those.

Perhaps not to anyone of a Southampton persuasion, but certainly to those outside of St. Mary's, he's the sort of midfielder it's difficult to pigeon-hole.

According to reports, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton are among his suitors. It's Spurs who are most likely to sign the 24-year-old Dane though. The Daily Telegraph reports the North Londoners are ‘confident' of raising the money to sign Højbjerg.


With just 12 months left on his contract, the Saints have to decide whether to cash in this summer or risk losing Højbjerg for free.

For his part, Højbjerg has been fairly clear.

“I know what I want, the club knows it too. I want to play at an even higher level than I am currently,” he told Sport1. “The relationship between me and Southampton is fantastic.

“The club gave me the platform to grow. I’m not saying ‘goodbye’ and I’m focused on my club, but my goal is very clear: I want to win the Premier League and the Champions League.”

Saints coach Ralph Hasenhüttl warned Højbjerg he would be replaced as captain if he went into the final year of his contract without signing an extension. Hasenhüttl was true to his word and, earlier this month, James Ward-Prowse succeeded him.

“No, he [Højbjerg] will not be captain,” Hasenhüttl confirmed ahead of the Premier League restart.

“We had an agreement, and made clear that if you decide not to extend your contract, you will not be captain of this team.

“He knows that he is an important player for this club. I think we have found a good agreement.”

It appears inevitable Højbjerg will leave St. Mary's this summer. Southampton will reportedly demand £35million for the former Bayern Munich midfielder. But that hasn't put Spurs off.

José Mourinho has been famously unhappy with his midfield options. Club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele has bore the brunt of that. Mourinho was highly critical of the former Lyon midfielder following Spurs' 1-1 draw at Burnley in March.

“In the first half we didn't have a midfield,” Mourinho said.

“Of course I'm not speaking of (Oliver) Skipp because he's a kid of 19 who's played two hours in the last few days. I don't criticise him at all.

“But I'm not going to run away and I have to say he (Ndombele) has had enough time to come to a different level.”

Mourinho views Eric Dier as a central defender rather than midfielder while Harry Winks has been in and out of favour. Benfica loanee Gedson Fernandes has yet to have a run in the side. In fact, the only midfielder to impress under the Portuguese has been Giovani Lo Celso.

Højbjerg could be tailor-made for Mourinho. His best teams have always had a ball-winner in the middle of the park – think Claude Makélélé at Chelsea. Højbjerg is different but he does just that. The Dane averages 10.59 ball recoveries per 90. No-one in the Premier League has managed more this season.

When compared to midfielders who have played in at least 20 per cent of available minutes this season, Højbjerg ranks 15th for tackles (2.64 per 90). He is 19th for interceptions (1.54). Most impressively, only Paul Pogba betters him for possession regains in the middle third (5.96).

The graphic above shows where Højbjerg undertakes his defensive actions; a broad area comprising much of the middle third of the field. His tireless work-rate and boundless energy enable him to cover lots of ground, breaking up play and winning possession back for Southampton.

In Hasenhüttl's intense, high-pressing 4-2-2-2 system, Højbjerg is the ideal player to sit in front of the back four. But he'll be asked to perform a different role if he joins Tottenham, who typically play 4-2-3-1 under Mourinho.

To that end, Højbjerg's passing will have to improve. His 77 per cent completion rate is underwhelming. Only 44.78 of the 76.22 he attempts per 90 reach a team-mate. That's more than any other Saints midfielder, however, his pass completion is lower than either Oriol Romeu(78.32 per cent) and Ward-Prowse (78.69 per cent).

The fact all three post sub-80 per cent completion figures suggest it's more to do with the team's style of play. This, after all, is a player who worked under Pep Guardiola at Bayern and was highly thought of by the Catalan.

Author Martí Perarnau, writing in Pep Confidential, said of Højbjerg. “Pep had heard good things about Højbjerg before coming to Bayern and it has taken just a couple of training sessions for him to fall in love with the player. Pep thinks he may have just found the Sergio Busquets of Bayern.”

Whatever the neutral reckons, if Guardiola and Mourinho rate you, you're clearly doing something right
 
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