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Premier League

Gareth Bale backs Lewis Holtby to help Tottenham push for Champions League qualification

Spurs winger talks up new arrival

Gareth Bale has talked up the impact new signing Lewis Holtby could have on Tottenham's season.

The German international joined from Schalke last month, six months ahead of schedule, having originally agreed to join Spurs in the summer.

Since moving to London in a £1.25m deal, the versatile player has impressed in matches against Norwich and West Brom, and Bale believes he could prove influential as Tottenham push for Champions League qualification.

“I’m sure he’s going to fit in very well,” Bale was quoted in The Evening Standard as saying today. “Hopefully, we can get him into the team quickly and get him doing well for us.

“He’s looked very sharp and he seems the type of player who could play well in a team like ours.

“At 22, he’s a younger than me, too, so there is a lot of potential there and let’s hope he can fulfil that at Tottenham. He speaks fluent English, too, which helps, and it means he has settled in straight away with the rest of the squad.”

Tottenham face Newcastle on Saturday hoping that Emmanuel Adebayor will be fit to play when he returns from the Africa Cup of Nations following Togo’s quarter-final exit. Adebayor is the club’s only fit senior striker after Jermain Defoe suffered an ankle injury in the win at West Brom.

After Saturday, Spurs will not have a domestic fixture until the game at West Ham on February 25. The only other assignment this month is the two-leg Europa League tie against Lyon, which takes place on February 14 and 21.

Boss Andre Villas-Boas will welcome the opportunity to give some of his players a breather but Bale suspects Spurs are at their best when they are busy.

The West Brom win was their first in the Premier League since New Year’s Day and Bale said: “We’re going to have to step up a level now. When we have two games in a week, I think it might help us rather than having long weeks and not getting the rhythm of games. Time will tell but we’re confident we’ll be able to push on from here.”