Player Profile: Soon to be Tottenham player Lewis Holtby
A lot of English football fans are scratching their heads at the announcement today of Tottenham Hotspur securing the signing of Schalke 04’s Lewis Holtby.
The half-German, half-English player will move to the club at the end of the season on a free transfer but the word on a lot of fans minds is simply: who?
To mistake relative obscurity with a lack of talent would be…well…a mistake.
The 22 year old was one of the most sought after players in Europe until Tottenham beat the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Inter Milan, Valencia and Bayern Munich to the player’s signature.
Holtby is a technically gifted young player, comfortable playing the ball with either foot.
The player can shoot when the opportunity arises but is more used to creating chances than finishing them.
Holtby prefers to play in the middle of the park, either just behind the main striker or in the centre of midfield.
Coming in at just 5ft 9in, the player has more than a flash of the old Spurs favourite Rafa Van der Vaart about him, and Spurs fans will be hoping Holtby can replicate some of the performances the mercurial Dutchman put in for the club.
His form this season has seen the German media running out of superlatives with which to praise him.
Holtby rose to prominence when out on loan with lowly Mainz in 2010, where he guided them to a surprisingly lofty 5th spot in the German Bundesliga.
The half-English Holtby claimed he grew up dreaming of pulling on a shirt for the Three Lions, but with a call from the FA not forthcoming, Germany Under 21s came knocking and Holtby has chosen to remain loyal to the country that gave him his first chance on the international scence.
Tottenham’s centre midfield has been solid this season with Brazilian Sandro providing a shield for the defence alongside the powerful Moussa Dembele but at times, they have lacked the creativity to unlock teams that are content to sit back and soak up the pressure.
The signing of Holtby may well mean an end to Tottenham’s pursuit of Moutinho. The players share many similarities and it is not clear how the middle of Spurs midfield could accommodate Sando, Scott Parker, Moussa Dembele, Lewis Holtby and Joao Moutinho.
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