Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has been talking up midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg this week and he’s lavished some good praise on the lad.
It’s fair to say the 23-year-old had a slow start to life at St Mary’s Stadium following his reported £12.8million switch from Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich but as the Dane slowly heads towards 100 appearances for us, aside from some notable hiccups, he’s definitely begun to show his strengths on the pitch and has definitely won most fans over.
There are clearly things he can still work on in his game, but if he needed an additional confidence shot, the gaffer gave it to him as he spoke to the Daily Echo this week.
Praising his attitude and mentality, Hasenhuttl said he wanted to build the squad around our new vice skipper (he felt he was our new captain for the future full stop) and he’s confident that we can hold onto him with some of Europe’s top clubs now sniffing around and taking an interest in him.
“I see him as the captain for the future if he doesn’t get so many red cards. I missed him a lot in the last few games. I know that a lot of good and famous clubs in Europe have him on their list. We know that we are not alone in the Premier League, the big clubs are hunting for the good players. I think we have a few who are in the focus of these clubs. For example, Pierre is a player who has a lot of things that I want to have from a player in my team. He is one of the guys who you can build a team around. He is professional, very hard working and is one of our key players.”
Clearly, the message again from the Austrian is attitude and commitment first and we are arguably seeing that from the side in more recent performances as our season slowly turns that corner.