FC Augsburg, FC Bayern München and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (pictured) are all set to benefit from the Dane's intra-Bavarian loan move (©Imago)
FC Augsburg, FC Bayern München and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (pictured) are all set to benefit from the Dane's intra-Bavarian loan move (©Imago)

Rückrunde Ones to Watch: Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg

Cologne - Having featured for just 285 minutes of the first half of the season, has gone in search of regular first-team football as he looks to further his development on the pitch.

Production line

The lack of game time was one of the main reasons behind his decision to leave FC Bayern München this winter and link up with Bavarian rivals FC Augsburg, where he now hopes to use a loan spell to launch his career.

He will have at least until June to prove his value having been given a parting gift by Bayern - a new contract until 2018 which emphasises just how much they still believe in the Dane, even if there is currently not much room for him at the Allianz Arena. "I want to take the next step with FC Augsburg and get more match practice in the second half of the season," said the 19-year-old.

It is a policy which Bayern have perfected, with Philipp Lahm, Toni Kroos and David Alaba all honing their craft elsewhere before returning to Munich apost-graduation. Höjbjerg is not short of gaining his diploma either, which is why just a short, six-month spell in Augsburg should be just enough for a bit of final exam revision.

Impressive stats

With an average of 97 touches per game and a minimal misplaced pass rate of 13 per cent, Hojbjerg also excels in the challenge (56 per cent tackles won). It is now all about putting those qualities into practice on a weekly basis, most probably alongside the experienced Daniel Baier in a 4-2-3-1 system, or a little further forward should Markus Weinzierl deploy a 4-1-4-1.

Höjbjerg has already proven his tactical versatility in a Bayern shirt, describing himself as a "box-to-box player;" the man for all occasions. He also expects to learn a lot from his new commander in chief, Weinzierl. "He's got great qualities as a coach and as a person," Höjbjerg enthused. "He's got what it takes to become one of the greatest coaches."

'Not Messi' - or is he?

Warm words from somebody who has spent the last 18 months learning from arguably the finest master of his profession, Pep Guardiola, yet Höjbjerg's faith and belief in Weinzierl is not misplaced, as the examples of Andre Hahn, Halil Altintop and Raul Bobadilla show - each has improved under the Augsburg coach, and for Höjbjerg's, Bayern's and Augsburg's sake, a repeat performance would do nicely.

For all the euphoria, however, the expectations will not be allowed to grow exponentially by the man who is expected to deliver the finished product back to Bayern in the summer. "We've not signed Messi," said Weinzierl. "We've signed Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg." If the Dane reaches the height of his ambitions though, it may not be the last time those two are mentioned in the same breath.