A pundit thinks Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is ‘invaluable’ to Tottenham and the way Antonio Conte wants them to play, while also reacting to transfer links surrounding the midfielder.
Tottenham spent around £15million to sign Hojbjerg from Southampton in summer 2020. He has gone on to make 104 appearances for the north London side, with 48 of those coming last season.
Hojbjerg has become an important player under Conte and is enjoying a great start to the new campaign. He has played every minute of their three Premier League games so far. Plus, he got on the scoresheet in their 2-2 draw with Chelsea on August 14.
The Dane is becoming a regular in the Tottenham first team, despite having fierce competition for a starting spot. Conte can also utilise Yves Bissouma, Oliver Skipp, Rodrigo Bentancur, Harry Winks and Pape Matar Sarr in midfield.
Amid Hojbjerg’s impressive start to the season, Champions League holders Real Madrid are reportedly keeping tabs on his situation.
According to The Telegraph, Real boss Carlo Ancelotti ‘is an admirer’ of Hojbjerg. He was originally hoping Everton would sign the 27-year-old during his spell at Goodison Park.
Ancelotti has been monitoring Hojbjerg ever since and could now push for Real to launch a move. The Spanish giants may need a new holding midfielder after allowing Casemiro to join Manchester United for an initial £60m.
Former Leeds and Middlesbrough player Noel Whelan thinks Spurs have a good chance of retaining Hojbjerg. The pundit also labelled him ‘invaluable’ as he allows the Spurs front three to attack without much defensive concern.
Spurs will ‘fight to keep’ Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
“I think they’ll fight to keep him. He’s proven already this season what an important player he has become under Conte,” Whelan said during an interview with Football Insider.
“He has become more consistent, and he’s a permanent fixture on the team sheet straight away.
“I can understand why Real Madrid want him, because he’s playing like one of the best midfield players – not just in the Premier League, but in Europe.
“I think they’ve got to try and do what they can to keep him, and I didn’t think I’d be saying that after some of his performances when he first signed.
“What he’s doing right now is invaluable for that front three at Spurs.”
Some would have been worried about Hojbjerg’s game time this season following the arrival of Bissouma from Brighton. Spurs signed Bentancur from Juventus in January, too.
However, Hojbjerg is now one of the first names on the team sheet for Conte. This, along with the fact his contract runs until 2025, means Spurs can put a large price tag on his head.
They know Real are willing to spend big on their top targets and will adjust Hojbjerg’s valuation accordingly.
Despite letting Casemiro go, Real might not bring in a new defensive midfielder anyway. They already have Aurelien Tchouameni in the squad following his transfer from Monaco.