Sport Soccer

Saturday 10 December 2016

Southampton sign Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg after Graziano Pelle departs

Published 11/07/2016 | 14:21

Graziano Pelle has joined Chinese outfit Shandong Luneng
Graziano Pelle has joined Chinese outfit Shandong Luneng

Southampton have swiftly added to their squad following Graziano Pelle's departure to China, with the south-coast club announcing the signing of midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from Bayern Munich.

  • Go To

The Denmark international has joined the Saints on a five-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

Southampton announced the signing of the 20-year-old on Monday evening, a few hours on from their confirmation that Italy striker Pelle had moved to Chinese outfit Shandong Luneng.

Hojbjerg was handed his first-team debut for Bayern in April 2013 aged 17, becoming the youngest player ever to make an appearance for the club in the Bundesliga.

He spent last season on loan at Schalke, had a spell with Augsburg in the campaign before that and has 17 international caps to his name.

Hojbjerg said in a statement about his arrival on Southampton's official website: "I'm very pleased. It's a big opportunity for me.

"I look forward to giving what I have and what I can to the club. They have put trust in me and I want to show them that they are not wrong."

The statement also said Hojbjerg is a player Southampton have been "watching carefully for many years", and the club's executive director of football Les Reed added: "Pierre is an exciting young talent.

"At the age of just 20, he is already an established international player with Denmark and has gained significant and valuable experience while at Bayern Munich and in the Bundesliga.

"Pierre boasts an impressive pedigree, as well as a great deal of potential, and it is testament to our reputation that he has chosen Southampton ahead of other suitors as the next step in his career."

Meanwhile, Pelle, who turns 31 on July 15, has left the club for an undisclosed fee believed to be worth £13million.

He had only one year remaining on his Southampton deal and had been linked with a move away from St Mary's Stadium during the January transfer window.

A statement on www.saintsfc.co.uk on Monday afternoon read: ''Everyone at Southampton Football Club would like to thank Graziano for his efforts during his time at St Mary's and wish him well for the future.''

Pelle joined Southampton from Dutch side Feyenoord in the summer of 2014 and went on to make 81 appearances, scoring 30 goals.

Following an impressive Euro 2016 with Italy, he had been linked with a move to join outgoing Azzurri manager Antonio Conte at Chelsea.

However, the forward is understood to have been eyeing a move to China since January, which saw Southampton move for QPR's Charlie Austin.

Along with Pelle, Southampton - who last month appointed Claude Puel as boss, the Frenchman succeeding Ronald Koeman following the Dutchman's departure to Everton - have also sold Victor Wanyama to Tottenham and Sadio Mane to Liverpool this summer.

Hojbjerg is the second new player to arrive, with England Under-21 forward Nathan Redmond having joined from Norwich in a £10million deal.

Press Association

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport