The transfer frenzy at Tottenham Hotspur looks far from being over, with plenty of squad players on the transfer list and the small matter of Gareth Bale’s future to resolve, but amid all the madness one players has slipped from view at White Hart Lane.
Lewis Holtby was the club’s major signing in January, with his £1.5million fee indicative of Schalke having just one more chance to sell him rather than any reflection on his ability. The German player showed glimpses of his talent in his first half season at Spurs, but was expected to kick on to far greater things this year.
However an injury picked up on international duty with the German Under-21 side has seen him miss most of Spurs pre-season, and the recent rumours linking Christian Eriksen with a move to White Hart Lane could see Holtby face even more competition for a place in Andre Villas-Boas’ side.
It would be a mistake to bring in another player like Eriksen, because Holtby has all the tools to be an excellent playmaker for Spurs, and if Villas-Boas introduces a 4-3-3 formation in the near future, the German could quickly become the key man in a midfield that is mostly otherwise stocked with powerful, rather than creative, players.
Mouse Dembele, Paulinho, Sandro and likely new signing Etienne Capoue are all excellent midfielders, and there is no doubt they have the ability to pick a pass as well as break down the opposition play, but Holtby has an air of unpredictability around the penalty area that Spurs will need to beat stubborn defences next year.
Gylfi Sigurdsson can also do this, but perhaps not the same extent, with the Iceland international more known for his fine long-range shooting than his intricate through balls. It also fair to say that Holtby fits better in a three man midfield, where his tenacity will be needed as each man has to play his part defensively.
Holtby might have started a little slowly at White Hart Lane, and his injury problems this summer are unfortunate, but he has the talent to quickly become an important player at Spurs when he is fit, and the German might be the key to unlocking defences in a 4-3-3 formation.
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