Pierre-Emile Højbjerg isn’t in Denmark’s current senior squad, which is likely a reflection on his current bit-part status at Southampton. Signing in the summer from Bayern Munich, big things were expected of the 21 year old midfielder, but he’s not been a crucial player for Claude Puel.
In such circumstances, some countries call up their young stars anyway, as if to give them a boost and a reminder they’re being thought about. But not so for Højbjerg, who hasn’t even been named in Denmark’s U21 squad, despite being eligible for this summer’s European Championship.
The manager of the U21 side Niels Frederiksen has explained the decision doesn’t mean the Southampton player has no chance of taking part his summer, just that he wants to give the players who took part in qualifying every chance to stake their claim.
Denmark’s Bold quote Frederiksen as saying: “I have decided that in these two matches I will see the players who have qualified us… I think they should have the opportunity.
“I have chosen not to take someone who has not been part of it until now, in. But it far from equates that they therefore are not part of the final squad for the European Championship. Far from it.
“I’ve actually had a chat with Pierre-Emile about it and told him that when I do not take him this time it’s because I want to see others.”
Højbjerg was one of a number of players who pulled out half with through the last international break. Denmark first played a qualifier and then ahead of their friendly a big bunch of players withdrew with fitness concerns, concerns which weren’t believed by the Danish media.
The Southampton player wasn’t the only one, and others who pulled out are in the current senior squad, but perhaps it’s felt that with his position not being assured he should have stuck around.