Southampton’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg Rejects New Deal, Stripped of Captaincy

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg of Southampton is tackled by Josip Drmic of Norwich City on June 19, 2020. Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Southampton will see out the 2019/20 Premier League campaign with a new leading voice after Danish midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was stripped of captaincy on Wednesday.

Hojbjerg lost the armband after refusing to sign a new deal with Southampton.

“No, he will not be captain,” said the team’s manager Ralph Hasenhuttl during a press conference. “I spoke with him and we had an agreement, and made clear that if you decide not to extend your contract, you will not be captain of this team.”

Despite this, Hasenhuttl still sees Hojbjerg as an important member of his squad.

“I’ve spoken to him in the last few days and he knows that he is an important player for this club. I think we have found a good agreement,” he added.

English midfielder James Ward-Prowse, who is a product of club’s academy, will step in as Southampton’s captain for the rest of the season.

According to English media, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg doesn’t want to sign an extension with the club as he is looking to play in UEFA Champions League. The 24-year-old has one year left on his deal and can leave for free next summer.

Hojbjerg, who spent his youth career with Bayern Munich, joined Southampton in 2016. He played 129 games in all competitions for the club since then, managing to score five goals in the process.