Lewis Holtby joins Tottenham early after £1.5m deal is agreed
Germany international had originally been expected to join in the summer
Monday 28 January 2013
Tottenham Hotspur have signed Lewis Holtby from Schalke 04.
The German midfielder had agreed to join in the summer when his contract expired but Spurs and Schalke agreed a €1.75m deal to bring the transfer forward to this month. Spurs are now finalising his paperwork although it is unclear if he will be ready to play at Norwich City on Wednesday night.
Holtby is a 22-year-old attacking midfielder who has captained Germany Under-21, and has been hailed by Steffen Freund as a “perfect signing” for Spurs. Tottenham have missed central creativity since selling Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart last summer, with Gylfi Sigurdsson struggling to have much of an impact so far at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham assistant manager Freund knows Holtby from his time working for the German football federation and spoke warmly about him earlier this month when the initial pre-contract deal was done.
"He can play behind the striker, on the wings, he can play centre of midfield and he has already a lot of experience," Freund said. "We were looking at him for a few months, that is why we are sure he will strengthen our squad.
“I don’t like to compare him to other players. His natural position in the past was the No 10 in the 4-2-3-1, behind the striker. He can play the final pass and he is really skilful and the perfect signing for our philosophy.”
Freund is confident Holtby will adapt quickly to English football. “I know him really well as I worked for the German FA,” Freund said. “I know he is a really good character, he loves the Premiership, he loves England and his father is English, so everything comes together.”
Latest in Sport
The muddy truth of the Christmas Truce game
Alexis Sanchez video: Turns out the Arsenal forward is brilliant at playing the piano too
Premier League: Chelsea vs West Ham match preview
Sir Alex Ferguson on Jose Mourinho: 'He's good looking, speaks five languages, wins everything - it's unfair'
Jose Mourinho on Sir Alex Ferguson: 'A good friend, a good person, a fantastic sense of humour. I like him very, very much'
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food