by Brian Humphrey
Southampton have completed the signing of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from Bayern Munich for a reported fee of £12.8 million.
The news was revealed on Monday by Les Reeds- the Club’s Executive Director of Football- after the 20-year old midfielder finally put pen to paper, inexplicably ending all speculations.
His move away from the Allianz Arena has been highly acclaimed to the arrival of Renato Sanches from Benfica in a said £30 million deal.
Born as Pierre-Emile Kordt Hojbjerg on 5 August 1995 in Copenhagen, Denmark, he spent his youthful days at BK Skjold, F.C Copenhagen and Brondby IF.
He finally signed for Bayern Munich in 2011, but played for the second string side until he gained promotion into the senior team the following season.
With a place in the starting XI becoming ever so difficult- much of it due to the dominance of Bastian Schweinsteiger and David Alaba- loan spells at Augsburg and Schalke were the most viable options.
The arrival of Carlo Ancelotti however worked against him as the Italian maestro opted for the exuberant Renato Sanches, making a move away from the Bavarian club as imminent as it was ineludible.
Southampton have one of the most vibrant youth academies in the country.
The Saints may be a far cry away in terms annual budgetary allocation compared Premier League powerhouses like Chelsea and Manchester United, but their scouting has been impeccable and youth academy, vivacious: Alan Shearer and Gareth Bale are a living embodiment of the success their youth system has had in the mentoring and patronage of young talent.
The one massive drawback however is the incessant inability to hold on to their most valuable players.
In the past they have lost Adam Lallana [Liverpool], Luke Shaw [Manchester United], Nathaniel Clyne [Liverpool], and Morgan Schneiderlin [Manchester United], but their most recent setback includes both the loss of their manager Ronald Koeman and top scorers Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle.
Koeman has only recently taken over the reins of power at Goodison Park while Mane and Pelle departed to Liverpool and the Chinese Super League respectively.
That nonetheless is now water under the bridge as the Saints have already appointed Claude Puel as their new manager, not to mention the acquisition of Nathan Redmond from Norwich City as their first signing of the season.
Is he a good fit for the Saints?
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg may have won seven trophies during his near four-year stay at Bayern, but he still has a lot to prove on the individual front.
His best playing position is at the center of the park, but who he will be playing alongside will be reliant of Claude Puel’s preferred formation.
My best guess is Hojbjerg would thrive in a 4-2-3-1 formation, partnering up with Oriol Romeu Vidal.
As a youngster with the best years of his career still ahead of him, Saint Mary’s will provide the best atmosphere to both challenge and develop himself as a player.