Southampton completed the deal of their second signing of the summer, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, last Monday, for a fee of, £12.8m.
Højbjerg has signed from Bayern Munich after being a member of their squad for the past 4 years, although he only managed to feature in 17 league matches for the German giants in his tenure.
However, in the past two seasons, Højbjerg saw himself loaned out twice, to Augsburg and Schalke, where he was given the opportunity to prove himself to Guardiola and improve his chances on his return to Bayern. He started 17 games for Schalke last season, as well as coming off the bench on 13 occasions, failing once again to make a significant impact.
The 20-year-old Dane was attracted to the Saints due to their endorsement on youth development, backed by Claude Puel, since joining as the Saints manager. Højbjerg believes that he’ll be able to better his ability and finally be able to fulfil expectations.
In a recent interview, Højbjerg has already shown his eagerness to progress:
“I want to do my best and want to be a part of the team and part of the Southampton team and part of the Southampton family because I have a really good feeling and I can’t wait until the training and for the new season.”
Højbjerg is not a prolific goal scorer, nor much of an attacking threat, however, he is a very able and confident player on the ball that should, most definitely, fit into Southampton’s style of football.
He has joined the likes of Steven Davis, James Ward-Prowse, Jordy Clasie and Oriol Romeu in centre midfield at Southampton, adding to the quality and competition for a first XI place. The sale of key defensive midfielder, Victor Wanyama, sparked the need for a replacement and strengthening of the central role, especially as Southampton will now be facing European competition.
The Executive Director of Football at St. Mary’s, Les Reed, has stated:
“We now have the perfect blend of positional strength, experience and dynamic youth in our midfield slots. There will be healthy competition, but also the required depth and robustness for our challenge in the Europa League.”
Saints fans will all be hoping that Højbjerg is true to his word when he said, “I’m loyal,” in his first interview as a Saints player. Højbjerg signed a 5-year deal at Southampton, proving his eagerness to have a long and lasting career with the club. Southampton have seen many of their top players, leave over the past few years, such as the departure of Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and most recently, Graziano Pelle.
Højbjerg now has a month of pre-season training to get to know the rest of the Saints’ squad, coaching staff and manager, before facing Watford at St. Mary’s as the Premier League commences once again.