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Who Is Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg?

Coming out of the blue this morning was the reported Southampton signing of 20-year old Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. He is a bit unknown to the average fan, so we talked to someone who knows a lot about the youngster.

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Kevin Hatchard is a Bundesliga TV commentator for the league's official English channel. When the signing of Hojbjerg broke first this morning, several turned to Hatchard for his opinion on the signing, so we decided to ask him several questions that will help fans get to know Saints' reported new man.

Here are his answers!

SMM: Recently losing Victor Wanyama in defensive midfield, can Hojbjerg fill that role? What type of midfielder is he? What's his work-rate like?
KH: Pep Guardiola once suggested that Hojbjerg could play a similar role for Bayern to the one Sergio Busquets played for Barca. He's primarily a holding player, but has the technical ability to make an impact further forward if required. He is a good attitude, and isn't afraid of hard work.
SMM: Do Bayern or Saints get the better end of this deal? Or is it a good move for all parties?
KH: A good move for all parties. Bayern get a decent fee for a player they don't need. Saints get a talented guy with big potential, and Hojbjerg gets the chance to kick-start his career.
SMM: Why are Bayern selling him? Fee, down in pecking order?
KH: Bayern have plenty of high-quality midfield options, and Renato Sanches is expected to challenge for a first-team slot. Hojbjerg wants to move to get regular first-team football, so having loaned him to Augsburg and Schalke, there's little point in Bayern keeping him.
SMM: How did he do on loan last season?
KH: He wasn't initially a first choice at Schalke, as he was behind Leon Goretzka and Johannes Geis. Geis was given a long ban at one stage for a bad challenge on Andre Hahn, and Hojbjerg stepped in. When Geis lost form towards the end of the season, Hojbjerg had another run in the team.

He played as one of two holding midfielders. That said, he should really have contributed more in attack. He didn't score in the league, and only got one assist.
SMM: How is his injury history? Fairly clean?
KH: He's pretty reliable when it comes to injuries, with no major breaks or ligament damage.
SMM: Overall, the biggest question for Saints fans that don't this guy, are we getting a quality player? Strengths? Weaknesses?
KH: He breaks up play well, he's a decent passer, and he has a good work-rate. He needs to score more goals, and needs to grab more games by the scruff of the neck. I think he's far more talented than he's been able to show at club level so far. This feels like an important chance for him, and for a 20-year-old, he's had plenty of experience.

Thanks to Kevin for his time. Looks like if Hojbjerg can adapt, he can be a great signing for Saints.