Tottenham Hotspur are confident of signing Southampton midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg this summer.
The Telegraph reports that Jose Mourinho will get his man if the club can raise some funds through player sales.
Hojbjerg has only a year left on his contract, so the Saints may sell for a knockdown fee this year rather than lose him for free in 2021.
The Dane was stripped of the captaincy at St. Mary’s prior to the league’s resumption last month, as he has seemingly refused to sign a new deal.
A quietly impressive campaign
Hojbjerg has been a key player for Southampton since his move from Bayern Munich in 2016.
His impact was so big that he took over from Steven Davis as captain in January 2019, at only 23-years-old.
This season has probably been his best yet.
While most commonly played in a midfield pair, he can also play either as a 6 or an 8 in a three-man midfield.
He ranks ninth in the league amongst midfielders for tackles, making 2.6 per game.
He also comes in the top 20 for interceptions, clearances, shots, dribbles, aerial duals won and total passes per game (per Who Scored).
This indicates that he is a fantastic all-round central midfielder, but is excellent in the defensive aspect.
Considering that he is still only 24, he has lots of time to improve.
Despite his youth, he now has four seasons of Premier League experience.
As mentioned, his contract situation means that he will most likely come at a cheaper price than under normal circumstances.
Hojbjerg a good fit for Spurs?
All of these factors combined make him a very sensible transfer target.
Harry Winks does not provide enough defensive output, while Eric Dier has had a sharp decline in recent years.
Moussa Sissoko continues to perform but is at his best when he has the freedom to stride forwards with the ball.
Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso were two of Europes finest all-round midfielders in 2018/19, and both put up good defensive numbers.
Yet Ndombele has been out of favour in North London, particularly under Jose Mourinho, while Lo Celso has played in the number 10 role more often than not.
Hojbjerg is ideal for Jose’s 4-2-3-1 and could play in the double pivot with any of the club’s current options.
His dynamic, combative style is perfect for his potential new manager, but his age profile and quality means that he would also suit any boss that comes in after Mourinho’s time.
There is no doubt that Spurs fans would love to see him as the holding player with Ndombele and Lo Celso beside him.
Unfortunately, this most likely won’t happen while Jose Mourinho is in the managerial hot seat.