The signing that transformed Tottenham into title contender

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: Jose Mourinho, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur speaks with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Photo Neil Hall - by Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: Jose Mourinho, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur speaks with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Photo Neil Hall - by Pool/Getty Images) /

Going about his business in an unheralded, unassuming way, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg has quickly made his mark on Tottenham, transforming the side into a title contender. 

He’s exactly the type of player Jose Mourinho was looking for. The gaffer and his recruitment team deserve a lot of credit for bringing the Danish midfield to north London.

Costing a paltry £15 million, the 25-year-old is the type of dogged, disciplined, hardened midfielder that Mourinho can build his team around.  Commanding respect in the centre of the park, Højbjerg is consistently excellent and never takes a match off. He buys wholeheartedly into Mourinho’s system and offers an unrelenting, persistent presence.

Apt at interrupting, disrupting and getting under the skin of each opposing team, he is an incredibly intelligent footballer, knowing precisely how to read the game; he can also spray a pass, and is incredibly poised in tight quarters.

But his most important asset, especially where Mourinho is concerned, is his honest, earnest and scrupulous character. He emanates a hard-working, winning persona, precisely the piece of the puzzle Mourinho was in search of.

While he won’t garner all the headlines for his unrelenting diligence, there are few players on Spurs current squad more important. It’s nigh impossible to argue against  Harry Kane or Son Heung-Min as Spurs most valuable player this season. However, Højbjerg has quietly crept into contention.

He’s that instrumental to Mourinho’s plans.

Most promising for Spurs faithful, Højbjerg has yet to enter the prime of his career. The Dane has another two or three seasons before he reaches his peak, incredibly exciting news for Mourinho and company.

Højbjerg is also captain material. After Kane, Son and potentially Eric Dier, Højbjerg has the leadership skills to wear the armband. That may be a slightly premature assertion, but it isn’t at all farfetched to envision seeing him potentially lead Spurs out of the tunnel in the future.

Like Roy Keane, he has a unteachable knack for galvanizing, through on-field action and verbal direction, his entire team. It’s been a while since Spurs have seen a player of his skillset marshalling the centre of the park, and I thoroughly look forward to seeing what he’ll accomplish in a Lilywhite shirt.

Easier run of matches will determine Tottenham's title chances. dark. Next

One thing is for sure: With him protecting the back four, it’s only a matter of time before Tottenham win a trophy and end their 12-year barren spell.