Everton fans were left disappointed after Denmark international midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg joined Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday, and manager Carlo Ancelotti now has to look elsewhere for a central midfielder with an energetic presence who is as capable on the ball as off it.
The Toffees were interested in bringing him to Goodison Park from Southampton during the January transfer window, and director of football Marcel Brands was frustrated that the club’s interest in him leaked out early as it gave Spurs leverage.
According to The Athletic’s Charlie Eccleshare, Everton offered Hojbjerg higher wages than Tottenham, but the 25-year-old always wanted to join the North London club and money wasn’t going to be a factor.
Ajax and AS Monaco were also keen on the Dane, and while the move to Tottenham was the culmination of months of offers and counter-offers, they were always his number-one choice throughout the process.
The size of the North London club, their outstanding stadium and facilities, and a desire to work with boss Jose Mourinho all contributed to Hojbjerg’s decision to snub Everton and co. for Tottenham.
The former Southampton star has admired the Portuguese since watching football in Copenhagen as a young boy, and not even Ancelotti was enough to lure him to Goodison Park.
Inter Milan’s Christian Eriksen also convinced him, and the former Bayern Munich star is convinced he can win silverware with Spurs.
Joining Everton from Southampton wasn’t regarded as a step up by the midfielder, and the chance to play European football at Spurs after a five-year absence was just too much for him to turn down.