Jose Mourinho wants to add more bite to Tottenham’s midfield this summer and he’s identified Southampton firebrand Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg as the man for the job. This is an annoying rumour, if only because Hojbjerg is a bloody nightmare to spell. Even if I tell myself again and again that there’s a ‘jbj’ sequence in the middle of his name, next time up I’ll still go for Hjoberg, or Hjobjerg, or Hojberg.
The Dane (that’s easier) made it clear recently that he’d like to play for a more Champions League-y type of club, and so he has not committed to signing a new deal. Saints manager Ralf Hasenhuttl (no picnic to spell either) responded in the manner of Anthony Hopkins’ Captain Bligh, shouting: “God damn your eyes, Mr Hojbjerg! You turned your back on me! I am the first! Do you understand? God damn your hide, man!” And than Ralf stripped Hojbjerg of the Southampton captaincy, giving it to James Ward-Prowse.
Is Hojbjerg a good fit for Spurs? Yeah, I think so. He’d offer more physicality than Harry Winks, more athleticism than Eric Dier, and more reliability than Tanguy Ndombele. He’s played more than 30 times for Denmark. He’s only 24. Okay, he’s not the most gifted ball player in the world but you could see him becoming a regular in Spurs’ first team. We know how Mourinho operates: he needs his own men, loyal soldiers he can rely upon. He doesn’t have that at Spurs yet. Hojbjerg could be one of those players.