With “thanks” to the coronavirus, Tottenham Hotspur fans no longer need to worry about Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg while on international duty this week and next. According to the Evening Standard, Hojbjerg was called up by Denmark as expected, but will not report due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which is again sweeping through Europe.
Denmark is now on a list of countries that requires a 14-day quarantine period upon return, which means that should he, or any other member of the Danish national team that plays outside of Denmark, were to return they would be forced to self-isolate when they return. That would mean that if Hojbjerg were to travel to Copenhagen he would miss Tottenham’s upcoming league matches against Manchester City and Chelsea, plus the Europa League return leg vs. Ludogorets. Not great!
But instead, Hojbjerg is going to stay in London and report only for Denmark’s Nations League match away in Belgium, which doesn’t have the same restriction. Here’s Jose Mourinho, explaining it:
“Of course want Pierre back and in condition to play and it looks like we have found a situation that protects us and the player and allows him to play one match.
“The situation is simple. The first match is a friendly against Sweden, he doesn’t go. The second game is in the Nations League at home in Copenhagen, he is suspended because he got a yellow card against England so he is not going.
“The third game is Belgium-Denmark so he stays with us and works with us and goes to Belgium, he does what he wants and plays with greatest pride for his national team and then he comes back. The situation fits everyone.”
That’s doubly good for Spurs since he’s already got a lot of miles on the legs this season and the best thing we can do for Pierre-Emile is to give him a bit of a breather. It stinks for Denmark, however, who will have to presumably find a way to beat Sweden in a friendly and Iceland at home without international-based players such as Hojbjerg, Christian Eriksen, Simon Kjaer, and Youssuf Poulsen.
But that’s none of our business. [sips tea]