Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: Tottenham complete signing of Southampton midfielder

Denmark midfielder joins Tottenham for around £15m on five-year deal; Kyle Walker-Peters leaves Spurs to join Saints in separate deal

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg joined Tottenham from Southampton
Image: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is Tottenham's first signing of the summer transfer window

Tottenham have completed the signing of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from Southampton.

The Denmark midfielder has signed a five-year contract after completing a medical on Monday and becomes Jose Mourinho's first summer signing, joining for a fee of around £15m plus bonuses.

In a separate deal, 23-year-old full-back Kyle Walker-Peters has gone in the opposite direction - leaving Spurs to join Southampton - signing a five-year deal at St Mary's after spending the second half of last season on loan with the club.

Southampton's Kyle Walker-Peters in action vs Burnley
Image: Kyle Walker-Peters has signed a five-year deal with Southampton

Hojbjerg made 134 appearances for Southampton after joining from Bayern Munich in 2016, with the Dane going on to become Saints skipper before being stripped of the captaincy in June when he confirmed his desire to leave the club.

"What was very important for me was that I wanted to play at a club where I could see myself for many years, and Tottenham was just the one," Hojbjerg told the club's website.

"I'm very proud, very happy, excited. I think there is a fantastic future ahead for the club, and I wanted so much to be a part of that.

"Spurs has fantastic players, fantastic manager, a fantastic setup.

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"I feel lucky and proud to be a part of it, and I want to give my everything, but I also want to learn a lot, to push for the next step, but still keeping that consistency."

After failing to break into Tottenham's first team, Walker-Peters impressed on loan at Southampton as Ralph Hasenhuttl's side produced a strong finish to the Premier League season following its June restart.

Walker-Peters played in all nine of Southampton's games after the restart as they lost just once to climb to an 11th-placed finish.

"I'm delighted to have signed here," Walker-Peters told Southampton's website. "The last few months on loan have been great for me and a lot of fun too. I've really enjoyed my football, the atmosphere here and also the style of play.

"The club definitely fits the way I like to play, and I hope that people were able to see that during the last month or so of the season.

"I feel like I've already developed in the time I've been here, and that's a big part of wanting to stay too. Obviously, it's a club with a great reputation for improving young players and, personally, I've found it really valuable working under the manager, with his ideas on the game and what he expects from you as an individual.

"I think the way we finished the season gives us real optimism about where we're heading too, and it just feels like a really good place for me to keep developing as a player and make the best out of what I have."

Analysis: Why Tottenham are signing Hojbjerg

Sky Sports' Lyall Thomas:

Jose Mourinho has been in the market for a new - what he calls - 'positional' midfielder since attempts to adapt Eric Dier to the position proved unsuccessful and he was moved to centre-back.

Mourinho likes to play a single 'pivot' in midfield - think back to the likes of Claude Makelele at Chelsea - who will protect the back four dependably and consistently. It's a key role in his system, and although Moussa Sissoko has done reasonably at it, they need someone more specialist at this position.

As the stats illustrate, Hojbjerg is that specialist; ideal for the role and both young yet still very experienced at big clubs and at international level. For £15m, he could present a shrewd bit of business by Spurs and Mourinho.

Analysis: The progressive box-to-box destroyer

GRAPHIC
Image: The Denmark international is a box-to-box destroyer

Sky Sports' Adam Smith:

In total, 37 per cent of Hojbjerg's passes were directed upfield this season, which is something Spurs have struggled to achieve for some time - particularly since another Dane, Christian Eriksen, left the club.

Hojbjerg attempted 289 passes into the final third - a total surpassed by only 10 other players this season. Those risky passes reduce his accuracy, but Spurs needed an injection of forward momentum in their midfield.

Spurs have typically passed backwards or sideways and struggled to penetrate opposition lines, but Hojbjerg ranked 26th in the league this season with 672 forward passes attempted.
Image: Spurs have typically passed backwards or sideways and struggled to penetrate opposition lines, but Hojbjerg ranked 26th in the league this season with 672 forward passes attempted.

The Denmark international also reclaimed possession a league-topping 326 times for Southampton during the campaign - epitomising the pressing style deployed under Ralph Hasenhuttl.

He primarily snuffs out dangerous flank attacks and is the complete box-to-box destroyer, dismantling opposition possession and causing a nuisance all over the pitch.

The 25-year-old has the mettle and mentality to drive Spurs forward and, at just £15m, he could prove to be this summer's bargain deal.

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