Inside Lane: Why Lewis Holtby will be a stellar signing for Tottenham

Tottenham blogger Alan Robins discusses Spurs’ swoop for Schalke’s rising star.

Following the disaster of Euro 2000, the German Football Association and the Bundesliga united to lay down plans to overhaul the youth structure at club level.

They knew this would be a long-term but worthwhile objective, and they have succeeded to an incredible level with the likes of Marco Reus, Mario Goetze, Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller all making names for themselves.

I have to confess to a liking for German football and their new breed of footballers. Indeed, would much rather we pursued the Frankfurt midfielder Sebastian Rode than Rennes’ Yann M’Vila as rumoured.

A fully-fledged member of the new class of young German players, our new signing Lewis Holtby has a wealth of Bundesliga, Europa League and Champions League experience – despite being just 22 years old.

He has captained the Under-21 national team and has broken into the senior team, who moved very quickly to secure him for Germany over England, given that Holtby has an English father.

Holtby’s signing follows a pattern which Tottenham established in the summer transfer window - versatility. In Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele, Gyfli Sigurdsson and Clint Dempsey, Spurs signed players who are strong in a variety of positions.

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Holtby is the same. While he has been playing for Schalke in centre midfield, he can also play in the No10 role as a support striker and out wide. Holtby has a good passing accuracy, including key passes and assists, he scores and also has a good defensive game.

He would appear to be a perfect fit for the AVB’s Spurs - and his dynamism and ability may perhaps spell the end for the more pedestrian Jake Livermore or Tom Huddlestone.

Encouragingly, Tottenham appear to have a genuine strategy in place in respect of transfers. In addition to the summer signings, Holtby and 20-year-old left-back Zeki Fryers seem to be part of a long-term plan and evidence of a coach and chairman working together, rather than against or in spite of each other like Harry Redknapp and Daniel Levy.

Finally, Arsenal and Spurs appear to be heading in different directions. One club is trying to hang on to its fading status, and the other is on the way up - and Holtby’s signing could be seen as further proof of the shift in dominance in north London?

After all, it’s no secret that Arsenal were interested, but Holtby preferred Spurs and our “insanely good manager”.

For me, if Spurs do no other business in January, the signing of Lewis Holtby will still have made this a successful window. He will be that important.


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