Saints Use Everton To Force Spurs Hand.
Friday, 24th Jul 2020 09:07
The Pierre Emile Hojbjerg saga continues to drag on with the Danish player making t clear he will not sign a new deal at St Mary's and his preferred destination Tottenham Hotspur being either unwilling or unable to make a reasonable offer on the player.
I have no issues with Pierre Emile Hojbjerg wanting to further his career and play Champions League football, in fact I would be very wary of any of our players who do not have that ambition.
Our success as a club has always been about bringing on players from both the youth set up and transferred in and making them footballers who can actually achieve that ambition, it is drive and ambition that makes them that little bit a cut above the rest.
So I don't get hot under the collar when players like Hojbjerg have delusions of grandeur, what does get my goat up though is when the club's like in this case Spurs, unsettle a player and then show a complete lack of class by haggling as if they are in some sort of Bazaar in the Middle East.
Saints have clearly been irked themselves by the inability of the North London club to put an amount down on the table that could even be a starting point in negotiations, let alone be accepted.
With Everton showing an interest Saints have called Spurs bluff, they have agreed terms with the Merseyside club and it is being said that Hojbjerg himself has been up to Everton and been shown around the facilities and even agreed terms.
But the problem is that the player himself prefers Spurs and is sat hoping that they will start to get serious in buying him.
Saints can do no more, they have shown that they are not phased by Hojbjerg wanting to leave, they have offered him a new deal, but having seen him decline it and intimate he is not interested they just want to see him off the books and sold.
The only thing standing in Hojbjerg's way now is Tottenham Hotspur themselves, Saints have named their price and presumably if Spurs have the money or indeed actually value the player as their number one target they can now sign him if they match it, their bluff has been called.
But we have a long history going back almost 30 years of Spurs unsettling our players and trying to get them on the cheap, older fans will remember the derogatory offer they made for Neil Ruddock in 1992.
If I was Hojbjerg I would be questioning why I would want to join a club who behaves in this sort of manner.
Most Saints fans are not distraught about his imminent departure, a fair number are actually pleased, even those that like him as a player and I fall into that category do not think he will be a great loss to the squad, indeed I do not think there is much to choose between him and Oriel Romeu.
It must be tough for Hojberg at present, having been unsettled by Spurs, had his ego stroked and had his delusions of grandeur, he is now finding he isn't actually in much demand, certainly none of the other club's above Saints in the Premier League aside from Spurs and Everton are interested and he isn't going to get even the salary he is on at St Mary's on the continent.
So he must be worried now that Spurs don't even have the money to do the deal and if they can't buy him, how do they expect to be able to revamp a squad that has only just about scraped 7th place and is way off a Champions League spot.
I am still of the opinion that a lot of this is the work of his agent, Hojbjerg changed agents back in December and joined Pini Zahavi as so called super agent in the mould of Jorges Mendes, both are friends of Jose Mourinho and we all know what happened next when in similar circumstances Jose Fonte changed to Mendes back in 2016.
Agent's like Zahavi like to do deals as it earns them money and Zahavi is no stranger to accusations of tapping up and controversy.
Sadly I think that Hojbjerg like Fonte will find that the move to a big club he has been promised will not happen and he will end up at Everton or even West Ham, club's who have plenty of money but who seem to continually waste it on signing players like Hojbjerg for big money.
I wish Hojbjerg well, this is football players are not that loyal anymore it is a job of work to them, I accept that and just want their ambition to help us in ours, when that is the case I am happy for them to move on.
The reality is the transfer window does not open till next week, so this is still haggling time, but that all has to end after Sunday, it is time to be serious, Everton already shown they are.
I won't slate Hojbjerg, he has been value for money over the 4 years he has been here, value for money that is rather than an outstanding success, however he is a more complete player than he was when we signed him and he is worth more than Spurs are offering, so come on Tottenham Hotspur, show you have class and that you can act like a Big Six club by matching Everton and getting the deal done, then we can all move forward.
Photo: Action Images
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