Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Postecoglou primes perfect Tottenham move for Hojbjerg upgrade who ‘dreams’ of Man Utd

Ismail Yuksek Fenerbahce

Ismail Yuksek is wanted by Tottenham but dreams of Man Utd

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou is reportedly ready to intensify his efforts to sign Fenerbahce midfielder Ismail Yuksek as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s long-term replacement in north London.

The Denmark international was tipped to quit Spurs last summer after it became clear he would not be a first-team regular under Ange Postecoglou, while that was also the case in January despite Hojbjerg appearing regularly from the bench and occasionally starting during the first half of the campaign.

However, he ended up staying put, with his agent Lars Halgreen admitting at the time that the 28-year-old was committed to the club until the end of the campaign.

Halgreen told The Athletic: “His only focus is Tottenham. To finish the season well and to help as much as possible.”

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The fact that Halgreen only mentioned the current season suggests the plan all along was for the midfielder to see out this term, which from Tottenham and Postecoglou’s point of view made sense at that time.

Spurs were without Yves Bissouma and Pape Sarr during the whole of January and into early February due to their commitments at the AFCON, while Rodrigo Bentancur was still working his way back to fitness after his ACL injury last season.

Hojbjerg stepped in when he had to but in truth his style of game is not really suited to what Postecoglou wants from his midfield engine room.

To that end, it’s inevitable that the Dane will move on this summer, with Atletico Madrid still considered the favourites to secure his signature.

Hojbjerg leaving will open up a gap in Postecoglou’s squad, especially if Oliver Skipp moves on as well – as has been mooted.

Spurs looking to win race for Fenerbahce ace

And it’s understood that Tottenham are looking to beat off competition to snap up highly-rated Turkish star Yuksek, who admits he favours a move to Manchester United.

The 25-year-old, who has also been linked with Aston Villa and Newcastle, is regarded as more of a box-to-box midfielder which is something that Postecoglou loves as he does not believe in pigeon-holing players into one defined role.

A deep-lying defensively-minded central midfielder player, Yuksek has been one of the driving forces behind Fenerbahce’s Super Lig title charge.

He averages 2.5 successful tackles per game, which places him among the best ball-winning midfielders in Turkey. However, he also has five assists to his name, which shows his ability to be involved further forward and also showcases his passing range.

Hojbjerg, however, will still have a role to play in the remainder of the season, with Spurs legend Clive Allen believing he remains a crucial player for Postecoglou – just in a different role.

Allen told SPURSPLAY: “Hojbjerg, I describe him as ‘the closer’ now. He’s coming on in games and he’s been impeccable in the way that he’s kept possession of the ball at the right time. He’s drawn a free kick, he’s slowed the game down, he’s sped the game up.

“He has been absolutely superb.”

Hojbjerg has made a total of 173 appearances for Tottenham, scoring 10 goals in that time, but now loos certain for a new challenge come the summer.

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