After the arrival of seven players in the summer, few would bet on anybody being brought into Tottenham during this January period; however this doesn’t stop constant links for players leaving the club. Our transfer windows are typically occupied concerning a single player’s departure from the club. Luka Modric, Gareth Bale and now, Lewis Holtby.
The young German signed from Schalke for around £1.75 Million only twelve months ago after having only six months remaining on his contract at the German side. Despite initial positive signs of his versatility and energy levels, he has failed to remain a first team regular, and specifically under Tim Sherwood, has dropped off from the first team picture completely, and with the World Cup quickly approaching in the summer, Lewis has been linked with a move during this window.
Despite clearly becoming a fans favourite, is it the old cliché of ‘if you love him, let him go’? Despite having the ability to play as the more advanced in the midfield, deeper in midfield and wide either side, he just hasn’t the ability to be first choice. Presuming we continue in a 4-2-3-1 with Sherwood, Lewis is obviously not going play in the back four, in the deeper two of midfield, Sandro and Capoue are far more defensively able than him, whilst Paulinho and Dembele are more gifted pressing forward. In Lewis’ preferable #10 roles, as we’ve seen in recent weeks, Christian Eriksen has excelled, leaving him second choice there. He’s a very good squad player for us, but that’s as much as he’ll be for us.
Whenever you ask a fan what they think of Holtby, they’ll always say he ‘plays with his heart on his sleeve’, or is a ‘work horse’. Question marks still lie over his ability and if you take heart and ability, you get Wayne Rooney, if you take heart and no ability, you get Shaun Derry. At the end of the day, it’s the classic situation where he’s been a victim of his own versatility; he hasn’t concentrated on one position and made it his own.
Many have thrown around the idea of loaning Lewis out to another premier league side to allow him to receive further experience and to get plenty of game time, and yes, he would easily get into any side under the top 6, but what is the point if when he comes back in the summer, he still won’t be a first team player? He and us either have to realise that he’s going to be a squad player, first choice #10 in cup games or leave the club.