Everton are reportedly interested in signing Southampton captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, but the former Bayern Munich player will cost a lot of money. Hojbjerg has just one year remaining on his current deal with the Saints.
According to Standard, the Premier League side will allow their captain to leave the club but only for a fee of £35 million. Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl spoke about the current contract situation of his skipper and said that Hojbjerg will not remain captain if he doesn’t sign a new contract. He also hinted at selling him rather than allowing to leave on a free transfer.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has been at the club since 2016, signing from Bayern Munich for a fee of £12.8 million.
Opinion: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg Worth The Outlay?
Everton are in need of a box-to-box, industrious midfielder who can defend and attack, and control the tempo of the game from midfield. Injuries to key midfielders have hurt the Toffees’ 2019-20 season, and it’s time for them to add quality depth in that position.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg would be a good signing for manager Carlo Ancelotti as the Danish international offers discipline, work-rate, and decent passing from the middle of the park. He has vast experience, having played over 240 matches of senior football, despite being just 24 years of age. The midfielder could give Everton some bite and aggression in midfield, while also adding to their aerial ability, which has been lacking in the middle of the park.
But, £35 million seems on the higher side for a midfielder who has one year remaining on his contract and has only played for a mid-table Premier League club. Hojbjerg hasn’t added too many goals or assists from midfield, having scored just 5 and provided 6 assists in 129 games for Southampton. His price of £35 million would have been justified if he scored or assisted more.
The fate of this deal could well depend on the chasing club’s valuation of the midfielder. A transfer fee in the bracket of £25m would seem to be reasonably a good deal for a player with the leadership qualities and Premier League experience of Hojbjerg. The Danish international could be paired with Andre Gomes in the middle of the park if Ancelotti continues with the two-man midfield, or with an attack-minded midfielder and Gomes if the Italian manager shifts to a three-man midfield.