Tottenham can profit from Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg was brought to Tottenham last summer for just $18.26 million (~£13 million) according to trasnfermrkt.com. At times during the season, Højbjerg was just what the team needed providing defensive grit and enough passing to get by. At other times, Højbjerg was a step late to everything and far too often simply gave the ball away with poor passes.
As a fan, you want to believe the Højbjerg that started the season so strongly and so effectively for Tottenham is the real player but as a realist, I’m frankly skeptical. Clearly, Højbjerg was way overplayed, receiving 100% of the minutes in the Premier League and nearly an equal share in Spurs’ other competitions.
However, the real question is if Højbjerg really wore down or if he really is just not quite as good as he looked early in the season. When Højbjerg was first coming to Tottenham, we questioned the overall ball-playing skills he was bringing. At times this season, like his nice one-touch-through ball for a Son goal early in the season or his long ball for a goal late in the season to Kane were great. Far too often, however, Højbjerg’s passes were off the mark and not nearly incisive enough.
Can Højbjerg play in the single-pivot?
One of the things that most excited me about the possibility of Højbjerg coming to Spurs last season was finally abandoning the double-pivot approach. While the Double-six has value when the midfielders are limited, it can throw a team off-balance, as we have seen from Tottenham all season.
Unfortunately, despite Hojbjerg playing almost every minute of every match, we still do not know if he can play as a lone defensive midfielder. Or maybe we do know. If neither Mourinho nor Mason would trust him as the lone defensive midfielder when we needed to be more attacking maybe Højbjerg simply cannot man the deep midfield alone leaving Spurs very limited in formations.
Højbjerg’s value has gone up considerably
All this leads us to the fact that Pierre Højbjerg’s value has really gone up since he joined Tottenham Hotspur. Currently, transfermrkt.com has Højbjerg valued at $38.50 million (£27.2 million). Given what Tottenham paid for Hojbjerg and what Daniel Levy can get out of someone in a negotiation, it is not unreasonable to think Tottenham could sell Hojbjerg for more than $40 million (£28.3 million) for him.
That is doubling their money in one season. Of course, then Tottenham would be back to looking for a defensive midfielder or maybe even more appropriately a deep-lying playmaker.
Now, do I think Tottenham will or even should sell Hojbjerg, no? However, I also do not think Tottenham should sell Harry Kane or Heung-Min Son but it could still happen. Likewise, do we want to see Sergio Reguilon leave, of course not, but if that right bid from the right team comes in, then the player and the club have to make a decision?
The point is, you cannot always sell who you want, you have to sell who other people want and are willing to pay you for. Let’s hope Spurs can move some of the players that need to go and can hang on to the ones we know are core to the project.