Tottenham Hotspur's Lewis Holtby has admitted that a lack of first-team opportunities could ultimately force him to leave the club this summer.
The 23-year-old midfielder moved to White Hart Lane in January 2013, after a breakout 2011-12 campaign with Schalke, but has found playing time in Tottenham’s crowded midfielder hard to come by since.
Spending the second half of last season on loan at Fulham under former manager Felix Magath, the three-time capped German international has been strongly linked with a return to the Bundesliga with Hamburg in recent days, but is still holding out some hope of reviving his Spurs career.
‘We're just going to have to see what happens in the next few days and weeks,’ he told t-online.de.
‘I'm a young player and I want to be playing all the time. That's very important for me, for my development and for my career.
‘Preferably, I would stay here with Tottenham of course and that's why I really hope that I get a chance,’ he added.
Holtby still has three years left on his current contract, but has made just one substitute appearance in the Premier League under Mauricio Pochettino so far this season, with his only start of the campaign coming in the first-leg of the Europa League play-off tie against AEL Limassol.
With Hamburg director Dietmar Beiersdorfer openly declaring interest in his services this week, the former Mainz loanee is reported to have already held talks with the German side about a potential switch, and a deal could well be coming before the close of the transfer window.
Still a promising player, with a great deal of potential to fulfil, Holtby, nevertheless, finds himself behind the likes of Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela and Nacer Chadli in the pecking order, and a move away to earn regular minutes could just be the best thing for his development at this stage.
Would Holtby be better off leaving Tottenham?