Jose Mourinho labelled Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg a “phenomenal player” after Tottenham’s derby win over Arsenal on Sunday.
Son Heung-min and Harry Kane combined twice as Spurs recorded a 2-0 win in the north London derby to remain top of the Premier League.
Hojbjerg, an August arrival from Southampton for a reported £15 million plus add-ons , played a key role.
The midfielder had more touches (61), passes (44), successful passes (35), passes in the opposition half (15) and interceptions (three) than any other Spurs player.
Hojbjerg’s performance earned praise from Spurs boss Mourinho, with the 25-year-old also having Tottenham’s only other shot on target.
“Pierre is, first of all, very intelligent. He reads the game very well. He’s going to be a coach one day, for sure,” Mourinho told a news conference.
“He’s a pain, asking questions about why we do this and why we do that. On the pitch, he reads the situation very, very well and the people that surround him are really compact, they read the game.
“Physically he’s very, very strong and technically he’s much better than people think. Because sometimes people think the guy that is good technically is the guy that does the backheel. The guy that is good technically is the guy that does something wonderful. But these are not my words. These are words from coaches of 30, 40 years ago. Simplicity is genius.
“And the guy is so simple in everything he does with the ball. And I think he’s a phenomenal player. Congratulations, Mr. [Daniel] Levy [Spurs chairman].”