German starlet Lewis Holtby is entering the final 6 months of his current contract at Schalke and has yet to commit his future to the German giants, fanning the fire of speculation that he will move in January. Arsenal, Everton and Liverpool are among his potential destinations...
His destination is as yet unknown but here are the front-runners to secure his sensational services in the New Year.
First up is Everton who, if recent reports are to be believed, is the club he actually supports in England – he could be drafted in to fill the creative gaps in attacking midfield for David Moyes should the club receive a lucrative offer for Marouane Fellaini who has put himself in the shop window at Goodison Park with some outstanding performances.
At just 22 years of age, Holtby is regarded as one of the most promising talents on the continent and he could very well look to develop his skill-set under the Moyes’ supervision.
However, perhaps an even more tempting mentor might be Arsene Wenger who is an admirer of the playmaker’s talent – Wenger has money to spend in January but his reluctance to spend it might see Arsenal miss out.
Holtby won’t come cheap, even in the January sales and I suspect at around £20 million he might be a bit pricey for the frugal Frenchman.
If the Gunners don’t offer a decent fee, they could very well be guzumped by their North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, as they were for Belgian newcomer Jan Vertoghen in the summer. Holtby would be the ideal candidate to replace the creative spark of the departed Luka Modric whose boots have proven a bit big to fill at White Hart Lane.
Holtby offers a very similar threat to the Croatian – he’s exceptionally technically gifted, possesses great vision and imagination and he could very easily be the missing ingredient in Spurs’ squad.
Likewise, Liverpool have looked like they’re in desperate need of some inspiration – they can’t rely on Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez forever and, more crucially, Holtby could be the nucleus of Brendan Rodgers’ system – he’s a far more capable driver of the creative play than young Joe Allen.
And last but by no means least, Holtby could disappoint the lot of them should he end up signing for Bayern Munich. He may prefer to stay in the Bundesliga and, according to rumours, the German giants are very interested in capturing him. His agent has recently denied any formal enquiry from Bayern Munich but I wouldn’t put it past them tabling a bid this January.
The only draw back from the player’s perspective would be the competition for places – Munich already boast some of the most impressive talent that Germany has to offer in Toni Kroos, Emre Can, Mitchell Weiser and Bastian Schweinsteiger – not to mention the likes of Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Javi Martinez. Subsequently, I think he’ll opt for a move to the Premier League.
image: © achimh