Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg could become a wanted man in 2023, according to reports.
The 27-year-old star is being lined up as a potential replacement for Luka Modric at Real Madrid and those claims were ramped up after the two went head-to-head on the international stage earlier in the week.
Hojbjerg lined up for Denmark in their 2-1 defeat to Croatia but despite the loss, the former Bayern Munich man appeared to have caught the eye.
Danish outlet BT had this to say in their post-match ratings column:
‘Maybe we have the replacement for Luka Modric at Real Madrid right here. The Spanish club is said to be in love with him, and we can easily understand that. Nominated for player of the month in the Premier League, but unfortunately, it wasn’t today that he got the Spaniards to put half or a whole billion for him. Although that should be his price.’
During the summer transfer window, the LaLiga giants were mooted with a move for the Spurs warrior.
The Telegraph’s chief football correspondent Jason Burt claimed that he was being lined up as a successor to Casemiro, who joined Premier League Manchester United, whilst The Sun’s Tom Barclay revealed to GIVEMESPORT that manager Carlo Ancelotti is indeed a big fan.
But as the Danish media suggest, Hojbjerg has been more Modric than Casemiro under the stewardship of Antonio Conte.
The 37-year-old veteran has arguably been one of the Lilywhites’ greatest-ever midfield talents, having been compared to Paul Scholes by ex-Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson for his ability to ‘control games’.
Although his days are now numbered. It should hardly be a surprise to see Galacticos president Florentino Perez return to chairman Daniel Levy for his successor as the Dane has been remarkable.
Hojbjerg has been untouchable in Conte’s starting XI, playing more minutes (810) than anyone else, with Hugo Lloris and Eric Dier the only other two to play 100% of Spurs’ games this term.
That power to completely control a game is certainly in the £100k-per-week Dane’s locker as he ranks inside the top 10% of all midfielders across Europe for progressive passes (6.02 per 90) over the last year, via FBref.
Meanwhile, Modric has averaged only 0.3 more progressive passes per 90 than the Tottenham gem and the pair both average around 70 or more passes per 90, as well as a 90% passing accuracy, making the comparison all that sweeter.
Under Conte, Hojbjerg has gotten forward a lot more, having delivered three goals and five assists from 42 appearances – that’s three more direct contributions than in nine fewer minutes under Jose Mourinho, per Transfermarkt.