German international Lewis Holtby has realised his Premier League ‘dream’ by signing for Tottenham Hotspur (not his beloved Everton!) from Bundesliga club Schalke.
Holtby, who has an English father and German mother, opted to play for the country of his birth rather than England, and currently has three senior caps to his name. Here’s the lowdown on the highly-rated midfielder.
1. Holtby's father, Chris, is a former British soldier from Liverpool who was stationed at RAF Rheindahlen in Mönchengladbach. Lewis, like his father, is a fan of Everton and has said it would be a dream come true to play for them at some stage of his career.
2. Holtby began his career at the age of four with Sparta Gerderath. When he was 11 years old he moved to Borussia Mönchengladbach who eventually released the player for being’ too small and too slow’. After leaving Mönchengladbach, he joined Alemannia Aachen.
3. Holtby was promoted to the Aachen first team squad by caretaker manager Jörg Schmadtke. He made his first appearance in the 2007–08 season when he was substituted on in the 80th minute for Mirko Casper in a 2–2 draw against FC St. Pauli. For the rest of the season he only made one more appearance, a 1–3 loss on the last match day to TuS Koblenz.
4. He scored his first goal for Alemannia on December 5, 2008 against 1860 Munich. On February 15, he scored his first brace in a 6–2 home victory against 1. FC Nuremberg. 5. Holtby left Aachen after five years and signed a four-year contract with Schalke 04 until June 2013 In January 2010 he was loaned out to VfL Bochum to get more playing experience. In May 2010, Holtby returned to Schalke and at the end of the month he was loaned out to FSV Mainz 05 for the 2010–11 season.
6. In March 2011 Horst Heldt announced that Holtby would return to the club at the end of June. In August Holtby scored his first goal for Schalke in a 5–1 win over FC Köln. Schalke announced that Holtby wouldn't extend his contract which expires at the end of the 2012–13 season.
7. The German international had already agreed to join Spurs when his contract with the Bundesliga club expired in the summer. But Spurs have brokered a deal believed to be worth around £1.5million to push through the signing before the window closes on Thursday.
8. Holtby was a member of the German Under 19 team, making his debut for the U19's in September 2008 and has been capped 12 times overall. He scored his first international goal for the German U19 team on October 11, 2008 against Lithuania in a 5–0 victory.
9. In September 2009 German Youth coach, Horst Hrubesch, announced that Holtby would play in the U20 World Cup in Egypt. He scored two goals in the tournament, one of which was against Brazil in the quarter finals. On March 29, 2011, Holtby captained the German Under 21 team, and scored two goals in an international friendly against Italy.
10. Holtby made his first senior appearance on November 17, 2010 in a friendly match against Sweden. When Holtby played in his first competitive match on June 7, 2011 in the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying against Azerbaijan his eligibility to play for England expired under FIFA regulations.