Pierre-Emile Højbjerg says he is “very proud, happy and excited” after joining Tottenham on a five-year deal from Southampton. The 25-year-old midfielder has joined for an undisclosed fee, thought to be an initial £15m, having signalled his desire to work under José Mourinho, and become’s the club’s first summer signing.
A separate £12m deal for the Spurs right-back Kyle Walker-Peters, who spent the second half of last season on loan at St Mary’s, to join the Saints has also been concluded.
Højbjerg told the Tottenham website: “I’m very proud, very happy, I’m also very excited to be here – I just want to get going, meet everyone and play football.
“I like to bring energy, I like to bring wins – hopefully! From the first moment I got to speak to the people at the club, the coach, I think it was very clear to me that Spurs is a very big club but also a club with even more potential to reach the ultimate, and I wanted so much to be a part of that.
“The leaders and the players that we have, world class. And the coach also, world class.”
Højbjerg was stripped of the captaincy at Southampton after he informed them he would not be signing a new contract and spent much of the resumption of the 2019-20 campaign out of the side. There was interest from Everton, but the midfielder was keen to work with Mourinho at Spurs, who have got the deal done in an uncharacteristically swift manner.
Højbjerg arrived in England in 2016 from Bayern Munich, where he worked under Pep Guardiola, and impressed at St Mary’s, soon taking on the armband. But with his contract running out next summer he informed the club he would not be renewing terms and Southampton have now cashed in.
Walker-Peters’s move is a separate transaction as Southampton make his loan into a permanent transfer. The right-back, who helped England to glory in the 2017 Under-20s World Cup, spent the second half of last season on loan with Ralph Hasenhüttl’s team and impressed, prompting the club to pay a reported £12m for his services.
Walker-Peters has signed a five-year contract on the south coast, ending a lengthy stay with Spurs. He joined Tottenham as a youngster but with Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Serge Aurier in front of him in the queue, the defender struggled for game time, making only 24 appearances.
Walker-Peters said: “I’m delighted to have signed here. The last few months on loan have been great for me and a lot of fun, too. I’ve really enjoyed my football, the atmosphere here and also the style of play. The club definitely fits the way I like to play, and I hope that people were able to see that during the last month or so of the season.
“I feel like I’ve already developed in the time I’ve been here and that’s a big part of wanting to stay, too. Obviously it’s a club with a great reputation for improving young players and, personally, I’ve found it really valuable working under the manager, with his ideas on the game and what he expects from you as an individual.”