Three midfielders Spurs could sign to finally ditch Hojbjerg

Tottenham Hotspur have moved quickly this month to snap up Timo Werner on loan from RB Leipzig and Radu Dragusin on a permanent deal from Genoa.

Ange Postecoglou has bolstered his squad at the top end of the pitch and in the defensive third during the January transfer window, and that may not be the end of his business.

Earlier this month, suggested that a central midfielder is likely to be the next area that the club will look to strengthen in before the end of the window.

Meanwhile, The Telegraph have reported that Serie A champions Napoli are interested in a deal to sign Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from Spurs this month if he becomes available for a transfer.

23/24 Premier League

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (via Sofascore)



Sofascore rating


Key passes per game


Tackles per game


Interceptions per game


Duel success rate


TalkSPORT claimed in November that Postecoglou would be open to cashing in on the Danish midfielder in January and he must now take advantage of Napoli’s interest to ditch the former Southampton man.

The Australian tactician could swoop to bring in one of the club’s reported midfield targets in order to finally ditch Hojbjerg this month. With this in mind, here are three players who could replace the Dane in North London before the end of the window…

Hayden Hackney


Earlier this month, the Evening Standard claimed that Spurs are ready to join a number of clubs in the race to sign Hayden Hackney from Championship side Middlesbrough.

The report stated that Manchester United, Manchester City, and Liverpool are also interested in the talented young gem, who may not be available until the end of the season.

Whether Tottenham are able to strike a deal this month or in the summer, the impressive youngster could be a terrific signing for Postecoglou.

Hackney, who is reportedly valued at around £20m, has showcased his quality and potential in and out of possession throughout the 2023/24 campaign for Boro.

He has averaged 2.0 tackles and interceptions combined and 7.4 ball recoveries per game across 17 Championship outings. Whereas, Hojbjerg has averaged 1.4 tackles and interceptions combined and 3.5 ball recoveries per match across 20 Premier League games.

This suggests that the potential is there for the England U21 international to provide more out of possession in terms of his ability to win the ball back for his side on a regular basis each match in comparison to the Danish dud.

Hackney, who was hailed as “special” and a “controller” by analyst Ben Mattinson, has also been forward-thinking on the ball for Boro this season with 8.11 progressive passes – placing him in the top 2% of his positional peers in the division – and 2.29 progressive carries per 90 in the second tier.

Hojbjerg, on the other hand, has averaged 7.27 progressive passes and 1.36 progressive carries per 90 for Spurs over the last 365 days in the Premier League and European competitions.

Conor Gallagher


Football Insider reported on Wednesday that Spurs are continuing to work on a ‘marquee’ deal to sign Conor Gallagher from London rivals Chelsea this month.

Tottenham are in talks with the Blues as they attempt to secure a swoop to bring the England international to the Lilywhites to bolster Postecoglou’s playing squad.

Gallagher has been a regular starter in the middle of the park for the Blues but HITC recently claimed that selling homegrown talent is a way for Chelsea to spend more than they would by selling one of their big-money signings due to Profitability and Sustainability Rules.

This means that there could be an opportunity for Spurs to swoop in for the England international, who has produced impressive performances on the pitch this season.

Conor Gallagher vs midfielders (via FBref)

23/24 Premier League (per 90)

Percentile rank

Assists (0.21)

Top 14%

Progressive passes (5.76)

Top 26%

Progressive carries (1.92)

Top 35%

Tackles (2.88)

Top 17%

Interceptions (1.44)

Top 11%

Blocks (1.6)

Top 26%

As you can see in the table above, the 23-year-old dynamo, who has started 20 top-flight games, has been above average in a number of key metrics in and out of possession.

Gallagher has the quality to cut out opposition attacks at an impressive rate whilst also being progressive and creative when he has the ball at his feet, which is why the young ace could be an exciting addition to the squad to replace Hojbjerg.

Adam Wharton


Finally, Adam Wharton is another midfielder who could be recruited to allow the Denmark international to move on – to Napoli or any other potentially interested clubs.

Football Insider reported earlier this month that Spurs are one of a number of clubs keeping tabs on the Blackburn Rovers prospect ahead of a possible swoop.

The Championship side do not want to lose him this month but the outlet claimed that an offer within the region of £10m to £15m could convince them to part ways with their talented gem, particularly if one arrives during the summer window.

At the age of 19, the second division starlet could be a signing with a view to the future and, therefore, an ideal replacement for Hojbjerg, who has not been a regular starter.

The former Southampton star has only started five Premier League games this season and a back-up role to the likes of Pape Matar Sarr, Yves Bissouma, and Rodrigo Bentancur could be perfect for the teenager as he continues to learn and develop.

Wharton has been a regular for Blackburn in the Championship and has caught the eye with his ability to cut out opposition attacks from a defensive midfield role.

He currently ranks within the top 9% of midfielders in the division for tackles (2.84) per 90, whilst the talented enforcer also ranks within the top 7% for tackles and interceptions combined (4.29) per 90.

Interestingly, Wharton ranks in the top 3% for tackles won per 90 in the attacking third of the pitch (0.58) and this suggests that he is an aggressive midfielder who is willing and able to press the opposition in their own third to create counter-attacking opportunities for his side.

Overall, the 19-year-old dynamo appears to be a promising talent on paper and could be an excellent signing to free up space for Hojbjerg to depart as part of Postecoglou’s long-term plan in North London.

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