Tottenham risk leaving Ange Postecoglou short in January if they allow Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg to leave with Juventus expressing a strong interest in the midfielder. Spurs have been a barnstorming start to the campaign under Postecoglou with fans buoyed by the direction the club is heading.
They stole all three points in a dramatic match with Liverpool at the weekend to move them up to second in the table and just one point adrift of Manchester City. There’s still a long way to go with just seven games played, but the early signs are there that Tottenham will be challenging to return to Champions League football.
That would have been the big aim for Tottenham at the start of the campaign after missing out on European football altogether for this season. Champions League football is the ultimate goal and it’s around January when the Premier League top four begins to take shape.
Tottenham will still want to be in the mix by the time January comes around, in particular because they will lose two of their star midfielders for the Africa Cup of Nations. Yves Bissouma and Pape Matar Sarr have been Postecoglou’s first-choice options in behind James Maddison this season with the African duo impressing so far.
The Africa Cup of Nations runs from January 13 to February 11, meaning both players will miss the crunch match against Manchester United. They could also be unavailable for matches against Brentford, Everton and Brighton, leaving Postecogloou needing to utilise his squad.
Hojbjerg would be expected to come in as a start with either Rodrigo Bentancur or Oliver Skipp to replace Bissouma and Sarr. However, Gazzetta dello Sport claim Tottenham are considering cashing in on Hojbjerg if an offer of £26million is made.
It’s claimed that Juventus are the main frontrunners to push for Hojbjerg’s signing with Paul Pogba being provisionally suspended after testing positive for a banned substance. Juventus officials are said to be keen on signing the Denmark international and have no issues on his salary demands.
But Tottenham selling Hojbjerg would present a major risk that could leave Postecoglou short of options at a crucial stage of the season. While Bentancur looks set to make his return from injury next month, there will be some uncertainty on his level of fitness for several months.
Skipp has proven to be a solid squad player for Tottenham, but Postecoglou will not want to rely on the 23-year-old too often. Hojbjerg is a proven international star and his experience in midfield makes Tottenham well-stocked should any other injuries occur.
Bringing in £26m to sign a possible replacement in the same month might be seen as solid investment. The risks arguably far outweighs the rewards when Champions League football is on the line.