Not many players would see a move from Bayern Munich to Southampton as a career switch to be proud of, but Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg believes otherwise.
The youngest captain in the Premier League this season has recently admitted in a revealing interview with Sport Bild via Sport Witness that being made the Saints skipper by Ralph Hasenhuttl is his biggest career achievement to date.
The Danish international said: “If someone had said to me when I was a 10-year-old boy, ‘You’re going to become a Premier League captain,’ then I would’ve laughed aloud, thinking: ‘Are you kidding me?’ Honestly, that’s the biggest recognition I’ve ever got in my career. It is a huge honour! Southampton has been etched deep into my heart.”
And it isn’t just the captaincy that the 24-year-old midfielder is revelling in. Hojbjerg, who was compared to Barcelona star Sergio Busquets during his Bayern Munich days as reported by The Mirror, is also keen on playing in the Champions League again, and he aims to do that in the red-and-white of Southampton.
When asked if he was keen on both returning to Germany someday as well as playing in Europe’s elite competition, Hojbjerg said: “Of course, I can imagine myself playing in the Bundesliga again someday. But my goal is to play in the Champions League. It would be an absolute dream scenario to achieve this goal with Southampton.”
A Champions League finish may seem like a far-flung dream for Southampton, but it is easy to forget that the south coast side have competed in Europe multiple times this decade after placing high in the Premier League, a goal Hojbjerg seems eager to achieve.
For the youngest captain in the league, Hojbjerg speaks and acts with a certain maturity well beyond his young years, and this drive to see Southampton succeed will be crucial if the club want to return to their former glory that seems like a long, distant memory now.