- Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, the former great talent of Bayern Munich, now plays at Southampton FC under former Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhüttl.
- There Hojbjerg has managed the class as the youngest captain of the Premier League at the weekend.
- His club feeds on big transfers. Hojbjerg could be the next example of this house policy.
The eyes of Hermann Gerland are known to be trained like few others. The 64-year-old has spotted and trained hundreds of young people as coach of the amateurs of FC Bayern, as assistant coach for the professionals and currently as head of the junior performance center of the Munich. If he recognizes the special talent in a player, it often becomes something of a career. In 2013, Gerland said about the then 17-year-old Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: "He will be a great player."
Hojbjerg is relieved to see him on Saturday night. He happily embraces Ralph Hasenhüttl, his coach. Hojbjerg plays since 2016 for Southampton FC in the top English league. The saints have just retired, the relegation ranks are given to Huddersfield Town, FC Fulham and, presumably, the Welsh of Cardiff City; Norwich City and Sheffield United are confirmed as newcomers.
Originally Southampton had higher goals that the club got the curve in the end, but Hojbjerg has its share. After two mixed seasons, he has prevailed, he is a leading player at only 23 years – and currently the youngest of all 20 team captains of the Premier League. Hojbjerg has come a bit closer to Gerland's prognosis.
Hojbjerg can be borrowed, then he goes to England
Prior to his time in England, the Danish international enjoyed training with Bayern from 2012 to 2016, playing under Jupp Heynckes and Pep Guardiola, with Hermann Gerland assisting both. Hojbjerg completed 25 competitive games for the record champions, including the 102-minute stint in the Cup final 2014 after extra time 2: 0 against Borussia Dortmund. Nevertheless, he was loaned to Augsburg and Schalke.
The path did not lead back, but against a transfer of about 15 million euros to Southampton, a club that is also known for good eyes: The now working at Real Madrid Gareth Bale was trained there, defender Virgil van Dijk and striker Sadio Mané ( both today at Liverpool) docked there in the Premier League. "For me it was important that I get experience, that I'm in a team I'm important in. If you're 17, 18, 19, you'll be taken seriously in a few teams," says Hojbjerg, looking back. Nevertheless, he learned a lot in Munich, above all, to challenge himself daily.
Hojbjerg talks a lot about "mentality", about "DNA" – "mastering the basics very well, maybe that's my greatest strength". As a typical box-to-box player, as an authority between the two penalty areas, Hojbjerg represents the simple game: "As a midfielder, I can also start dribbling on the wing and doing a show, but that does not help my game fast feet, good technique, good passing. "
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