Everton have been tipped to sign Southampton’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg this summer, although they face competition from Tottenham.
According to Patrick Boyland in his recent Everton Mailbag segment, Carlo Ancelotti is a fan of the Saints’ midfield man. Hojbjerg has just 12 months left on his current contract with the south coast club and The Athletic reporter believes that “it is almost a certainty that Hojbjerg will not agree new terms at St Mary’s”.
Noel Whelan has urged the Danish ace to consider Everton as his next destination and forget about the interest shown from Spurs.
Who is the better midfielder – Schneiderlin or Hojbjerg?
In an interview with Football Insider, the BBC Radio Leeds commentator said: “Everton are very up and coming now. Ancelotti will have a full pre-season ahead of next year, so they will be exciting. Who does not want to work under him?”
Whelan went on to say that the addition of Hojbjerg at Goodison Park could be in order to replace Morgan Schneiderlin, who has had a disappointing 2019/20 season.
The Frenchman has played just 15 league matches this campaign and has failed to register any goals or assists in that time. His only goal involvement this season was an assist in the EFL Cup against Lincoln (via Transfermarkt).
“He has not done enough and Ancelotti has had enough time to look at players now,” Whelan stated. “He knows who he wants at the football club.”
Despite Schneiderlin being the more defensive midfielder out of the two, Hojbjerg’s stats this season outdo the Frenchman’s performances. The Dane has averaged 2.4 tackles per game in comparison to the Evertonian’s 2.1, as well as more clearances (1.7) to Schneiderlin’s 1.3.
Hojbjerg also averages better numbers going forward, which is an aspect Everton with which have struggled in their midfield. The 24-year-old averages more shots per game (1.5) and key passes (1) to Schneiderlin’s respective 0.4 and 0.3 (via WhoScored).
Ancelotti will have some decisions to make in the upcoming transfer window regarding who to let go and who to bring in. The Italian should look to prioritise a move for Southampton’s midfielder, who has the potential to flourish under a successful manager. He is also six years younger than Schneiderlin which suits Ancelotti’s theme of relying on the younger Blues in the team.
Everton have managed to contribute just four goals from their midfield in the league this season but, with Hojbjerg’s attacking capability, those numbers could rise. Additionally, as he enters the final year of his contract, the Saints will not want to see him go for free and could offer up a very reasonable asking price to seal the deal.
What do you think, Blues? Should Everton bring Hojbjerg to Goodison Park this summer? Have your say in the comments below!
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