Bengaluru, May 14: It has been an abysmal kind of season for Tottenham Hotspur. The North London giants were expected to go from strength to strength against the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City this season after their sensational run to the Champions League final last campaign.
However, a really dismal start to the season cost Mauricio Pochettino his job and then came Jose Mourinho at the helm. Spurs' fortunes have hardly changed following the Portuguese maestro taking over at the club and the Special One really needs to come up with something special in the next transfer window to make Spurs competitive again.
One of the many reasons for Spurs just failing to click under Mourinho is the absence of a player like Claude Makelele or Nemanja Matic. A world-class defensive midfielder is arguably the biggest need for Mourinho in order to deliver and Spurs just don't have that at the moment. His system requires a complete defensive midfielder, one who can dominantly win the balls and also be more than decent with the ball in his feet.
The Lilywhites have been linked with coveted talents like Denis Zakaria and Boubakary Soumare who are being chased by a number of clubs and do not have Premier League experience as well. Also, they could prove to be really costly and we all know how miserly Spurs tend to spend.
In this scenario, Mourinho should have his sights on a Premier League player who could be available for a reasonable price and is not much in demand as well. We are talking about Southampton midfield dynamo Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg here.
The Dane looks like the perfect player for Jose Mourinho's system and Southampton management is always ready to sell its star players for the right price. Hojbjerg has been one of the standout performers in his position this season in the Premier League and yet has been pretty much under the radar.
The former Bayern Munich midfielder is a prolific ball-winner and his records speak for it. The 24-year-old has made the highest number of recoveries per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season with an incredible 10.52 recoveries to his name.
In Ralph Hasenhuttl’s 4-4-2 high-pressing system, the Dane has mostly featured alongside James Ward-Prowse in the middle of the park. In a two-man midfield pivot, Hojbjerg not only offers a lot defensively but is pretty good as a passer as well.
He is incredibly press-resistant having averaged a total of 11.8 passes per 90 minutes through the press this season. The 24-year-old has played 4.49 progressive passes per 90 minutes this campaign which shows how excellent he is as a ball-player and not just a mere destroyer.
Hojbjerg is exactly what Mourinho lacks at Spurs and would provide an excellent shield to the Spurs defence that has been pretty leaky this season having the least number of clean sheets in the Premier League. Plus, he is not a player who is in demand and should not be too expensive either.
Aged just 24 now, the Dane still has best days ahead of him and would certainly benefit as a player under the stewardship of Mourinho. With Spurs likely to miss out on Champions League football, Hojbjerg is one of the best options for Spurs to consider as they look for solidity in the middle of the park.