Schalkes Holtby drops Premier League hint
With his very English name, Schalke 04 midfielder Lewis Holtby has hinted he would one day love to play for a Premier League club ahead of the Royal Blues' Champions League match with Arsenal on Wednesday.
Holtby, the captain of the Germany Under-21 team despite his English roots, is Schalke's chief playmaker this season and was impressive in Saturday's 2-1 Ruhr derby win at neighbours and defending Bundesliga champions Dortmund.
Having made his senior debut for Germany against Azerbaijan in June 2011 in a Euro 2012 qualifier, he is now committed to playing for the national German team, but makes no secret of his ambition to play for an English club one day.
"Everton is always close to my heart," he told reporters, with his father Chris, a Falklands War veteran, and Everton fan, who was later based in Moenchengladbach, Germany, where son Lewis was born in near-by Erkelenz in 1990.
Holtby's Schalke contract expires next June and team manager Horst Heldt has said they are moving closer to extending his deal.
"We are close to our goal," Heldt said.
"We are not far apart. I am hopeful that it will work."
With impressive technical ability and the eye for providing a defence-splitting pass, Holtby has learnt from playing alongside Raul, but with the Spain veteran now moved on, the 22-year-old is relishing his creative role.
"He has benefited with Raul, as he now benefits without him," added Heldt, with Holtby having scored three of Schalke's goals this season and set up a further five.
"He is very inquisitive and is becoming a leading player."
Holtby says he got tickets for 20 of his Britain-based family to come and watch him play Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.
"They live in Newcastle, Birmingham and Wimbledon, and they are all coming to the stadium," he said.
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