Jermaine Jenas was asked about Tottenham Hotspur’s reported pursuit of Southampton captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg on Wednesday night, and the ex-Spurs midfielder told BT Sport that he understands why Spurs want to sign the Dane.
Sky Sports claimed towards the end of the January transfer window that Tottenham were interested in signing the 24-year-old midfielder, who has previously played for Bayern Munich and Schalke. He also boasts 33 Denmark caps to his name.
Hojbjerg’s long-term future, though, is in doubt as he has entered the last 18 months of his Southampton contract. Unless Southampton can convince Hojbjerg to sign a new deal, a Southampton summer exit may be on the cards.
Tottenham are said to be keen on landing the midfielder in the summer, but could face competition from both north London rivals Arsenal and Everton for Hojbjerg’s signature. Jenas says he can understand why Spurs want the midfielder.
“I think what’s been really impressive is the way that he’s stepped up to the plate,” Jenas said. “Don’t get me wrong I think all these Southampton players were asked the question after that 9-0 defeat to Leicester at home and they’ve all stepped up.
“He seems to be a big leader within the ranks. In the league game at St Mary’s [against Spurs] he bossed the midfield. He has that authority, that real kind of combative nature to his game and I think that’s why Spurs were looking at him.”
TBR’s view – Should Tottenham sign Hojbjerg, or trust Eric Dier?
Unfortunately for the latter, he simply has been miles off the standard that saw him become England’s best player at Euro 2016. Indeed, Dier was given a chance to shine during Jose Mourinho’s first few games – but he has since dropped to the bench.
Harry Winks and Gio Lo Celso are probably Mourinho’s first-choice central midfielders at the moment. But they are both slight midfielders with little height, and a bit of steel in the middle of the park is needed. The report claims he could cost £35million.