Thursday, December 1, 2022

Tottenham Hotspur Set To Make An Opening Bid For Southampton Midfielder: Right Choice For Spurs?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by The Daily Star, Tottenham Hotspur are set to make an opening bid to acquire the services of Southampton midfielder Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg this summer. The same source has also stated that the Saints are willing to give Spurs the green light to seal a move for the Danish international in this off-season. It is understood that the North London outfit can expect to face competition from Everton in pursuit of the Kopenhagen-born playmaker whose contract at the south coast of England will run out at the end of next season (via The Daily Star).

Höjbjerg’s Solid Season At Southampton So Far

The 24-year-old has enjoyed another impressive campaign in the Premier League. He has established himself as a top performer at the St. Mary’s Stadium after putting in several dominant performances at the heart of Ralph Hasenhüttl’s midfield. Hojbjerg has participated in 33 matches for the Saints this term and has registered one assist in the process across all competitions. He has usually been utilised as a defensive midfielder which explains his poor productivity in the final third.

The Danish midfield ace has averaged 2.4 tackles, 1.5 interceptions, 1.7 clearances, 1.5 shots, 1.0 key passes and 1.3 dribbles in every 90 minutes of Premier League football this season (stats via whoscored). Höjbjerg’s numbers prove just how consistent he can be at both ends of the field which has made him a favourite among the Southampton supporters.

The ex-Bayern Munich midfielder has also earned 33 senior caps for the Denmark national side while finding the back of the net three times for his homeland in the process. He will once again be expected to operate as an important member of his nation’s first-team in next year’s UEFA European Championship finals following the competition’s postponement because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tottenham Hotspur set to make an opening bid for Hojbjerg who is seen in the picture
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg of Southampton battles for possession with Harry Winks of Tottenham Hotspur during the FA Cup Fourth Round match between Southampton FC and Tottenham Hotspur at St. Mary’s Stadium on January 25, 2020, in Southampton, England. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

What Does The Saints Playmaker Offer On The Pitch?

Höjbjerg can sometimes lack the pace to make recovering runs at the back. However, he makes up for it via his incredible strength to overpower the opposition in the middle of the park. The Denmark international possesses excellent defensive awareness that enables him to read the danger quickly and pull off some crucial interceptions for his team. He is a tireless worker in midfield and can also orchestrate a few decent goal-scoring openings in the attacking third. Hojbjerg tends to pack a lot of power with his shot attempts but does not score enough goals, which takes off some shine from his overall game.

Is Höjbjerg The Right Choice For The North London Giants?

When fit and firing on all cylinders, the Saints midfield workhorse can be a joy to watch. At the moment, he might struggle to earn regular first-team opportunities at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. However, Hojbjerg is more than capable of being an ideal squad member under the watchful eyes of Jose Mourinho. He will not only bring some stability and variety to North London but also increase competition for the likes of Eric Dier, Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso, Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko next season.

At 24, Hojbjerg is about to embark upon the peak years of his playing career which Mourinho could look to benefit from in the future. With all things considered, he will be a decent choice for Spurs but only if they are willing to use him as a squad player. Otherwise, Tottenham will be better off looking at some of their other targets in the upcoming summer transfer window.

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