19 | Midfielder | Bayern Munich | Danish
For any young player to break into a squad as good as Bayern Munich’s is a remarkable achievement. Pierre Hojbjerg managed this feat in April 2013 to become Bayern’s youngest ever player in the Bundesliga at the tender age of 17.
Over a year later and the Danish midfielder has grown from strength to strength.
Pierre began his footballing career in his native Denmark playing for BK Skjold, F.C. Copenhagen and Brøndby IF. Impressive performances for his club and the Denmark underage sides led to interest from many European clubs. Bayern Munich eventually won the race to sign him in 2012.
One of his main strengths is his physicality and, standing at over six foot tall, he is quite broad for a midfielder. Other notable attributes include his passing, vision and technique. With the calibre of players around him at Bayern and the philosophy of Pep Guardiola these will be important advantages.
Over the course of two years Hojbjerg has racked up nearly a half century of appearances for Bayern’s second string, netting 12 goals. He quickly graduated to the first team in early 2013. He featured on the bench against Bayern Leverkusen in March of that year.
One month later, he replaced Xherdan Shaqiri against FC Nürnberg to make his competitive debut. His game time was limited in that historic treble winning season of 2013. This was mainly due to the strength in the centre of midfield with players like Bastian Schweinsteiger, Luiz Gustavo and Toni Kroos higher in the pecking order.
He made his breakthrough with Pep Guardiola’s arrival the following year, playing nine, including a start in their cup final victory over rivals Borussia Dortmund.
On the international stage, Hojbjerg has also performed exceptionally. He represented Denmark underage teams all the way up to under 21 level. In 2011, he won ‘Danish u17 player of the year’.
Two years later he won ‘Danish Talent of the Year’. He received his first senior call up for friendlies against Hungary and Sweden in May of this year before scoring the crucial equaliser for the Danes in their 2-1 win over Armenia. He will be expected to play a vital role in Denmark’s efforts in Euro 2016 qualifying.
The player has admitted his dissatisfaction with his playing time this season, and realises the superiority of players like Xabi Alonso and Thiago Alcantara.
He is contracted with the German champions until 2016 but perhaps a move away in January would be the best course of action for the youngster.
Other European clubs will no doubt be searching for his signature when the transfer window opens again.