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Southampton must rue Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg sale

Southampton have sold plenty of their top players over the years, with many having gone on to the very top of the game.

The club seem to have a keen eye for up-and-coming talent, and then the humility to allow them to move on when the price is right.

Virgil van Dijk headlines this glittering philosophy which has seen the club somehow record a profit over the last five years of transfer windows.

However, one man who left the club and has surprised many is Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

The Danish defensive midfielder moved to Tottenham Hotspur for just £15m after confirming his desire to leave St Mary’s but was captain before this debacle.

Saints fans enjoyed his tough-tackling and no-nonsense displays in midfield, but they had lost bigger stars so it felt like less of a blow.

But the way in which his price has skyrocketed, it seems like they may have allowed him to go far too cheaply.

According to the CIES Football Observatory, the 27-year-old is valued at around €70m (£61m). This marks an astounding 306% increase in value, just two years after he was sold for £15m.

He has impressed for Spurs, as he featured in all 38 of their Premier League matches in his debut season, 36 the campaign following, and he already has two goals and an assist this term having played just seven league games.

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It seems like this season is set to be his best yet, as he has formed a fine midfield partnership with Rodrigo Bentancur.

His average SofaScore rating of 7.53 this season supports this; a score only bested at Tottenham by Harry Kane; by 0.01.

Hojbjerg has become a mainstay in the Lilywhites midfield, averaging a 91% pass completion rate whilst getting through 1.1 interceptions, 1.9 tackles and 1.9 clearances per game.

The Spurs stalwart is, as journalist Philip O’Connor claimed, “an absolute beast of a midfielder.”

He is Antonio Conte’s unsung hero, who has Jose Mourinho to thank for this gift of a transfer.

When seeing his importance to Tottenham’s team, it is easy to understand how his value has increased so exponentially. Few Southampton fans would have expected this kind of rise to the top, and will now be left wondering how he was allowed to leave for such a small amount.

Article title: Southampton must rue Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg sale

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