sport news Hojbjerg's return to Southampton is his chance to show why he is tailor-made ...

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was once frozen out of international football for almost two years after ruffling feathers in the Danish camp once too often.

Little surprise then, especially following Tottenham's much-publicised fly-on-the-wall Amazon series, that he was identified by Jose Mourinho as a player with the character to shake up Spurs's squad of 'nice guys.'

Mourinho, appointed last November, quickly earmarked midfielder Hojbjerg for a role in his Spurs revolution, telling friends the 25 year-old was the first signing he needed, and finally got his man in August after some protracted negotiations having first shown interest in January.

Tottenham midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg will return to former club Southampton on Sunday

Tottenham midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg will return to former club Southampton on Sunday

The former Saints captain spent four years at St Mary's before sealing a move to Spurs

The former Saints captain spent four years at St Mary's before sealing a move to Spurs

Hojbjerg, meanwhile, got his wish of a move to Spurs, surprising those in his close circle by rejecting almost twice as much money - the likes of Everton, Ajax and Monaco also wanted him – in order to fulfil his dream of playing for Mourinho.

On Sunday, midfielder Hojbjerg faces a quick reunion with his old club, his St Mary's return one of the subplots of Spurs's lunchtime trip to the south coast.

The occasion has been overshadowed somewhat by two others - the fairytale return to Spurs of another player with connections to both clubs, Gareth Bale, as well the Londoners' interest in the Southampton's star striker Danny Ings.

Though in some ways it will be quite fitting if Hojbjerg does indeed go under the radar.

Jose Mourinho identified Hojbjerg as key to his Tottenham revolution back in November

Jose Mourinho identified Hojbjerg as key to his Tottenham revolution back in November

On the scale of the frosty reception Adam Lallana gets when he goes back to the hero's welcome Rickie Lambert received, Hojbjerg's greeting was already expected to be somewhere in the middle before this week's developments.

Some ironic jeering perhaps but not quite fussed or upset enough to go as far as full fury even though he was their captain when he announced he wanted to join a bigger club in May, a move that cost him the armband.

That maybe unforgiveable to some supporters but Hojbjerg at least gave his all while he remained on the payroll and never fell out with anyone.

That his influence on and off the pitch was on the wane in his closing months also made his £15m exit a little easier to stomach.

Hojbjerg also turned down twice as much money elsewhere to get his desired move to Spurs

Hojbjerg also turned down twice as much money elsewhere to get his desired move to Spurs

Hojbjerg had grown into role model figure since arriving at Southampton in 2016 and was renowned for helping the youngsters that came into the first team fold having been in their position as he came through at Bayern Munich.

However, it became increasingly harder for him to try and persuade others to follow his lead when he wanted out and his own performance levels had dipped.

In the end the high hopes they had when they snapped him up the one-time Pep Guardiola protégé from Bayern were never quite justified. A parting was merely a natural step.

The sense among some that Southampton have not lost all that much, though, contrasts with the hope at Spurs that they have plenty to gain from Hojbjerg.

Hojbjerg could shake-up the 'nice guy' attitude Mourinho alluded to in All or Nothing

Hojbjerg could shake-up the 'nice guy' attitude Mourinho alluded to in All or

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