Lewis Holtby: Return or Move On?


For the past couple of years, Lewis Holtby has been an enigma.

Ever since he joined Tottenham in January 2013, to his loan with Hamburg, he hasn’t been able to recapture the form he displayed while at Schalke.

Lewis Holtby played for Schalke from 2009-2013 but it wasn’t until the ’11-’12 and ’12-’13 seasons where he’d get regular playing time. In two seasons, he made 68 appearances and contributed to 29 goals (13 goals and 16 assists) in all competitions.

These numbers showed that he was on the cusp of something special.

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Perhaps he would have been one of the better attacking midfielders in both the Bundesliga and Premier League. Unfortunately, André Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood were unimpressed when he joined Tottenham.

Benching Holtby was just the start. At one point he was on the second team for Tottenham. If that wasn’t enough, he was loaned to Fulham who were trying to stave off relegation before ultimately being relegated at the end of the season.

It’s obvious Lewis needed playing time, he needed to be in the starting XI and not a substitute. A loan back to the Bundesliga to play for Hamburg in the summer of 2014 was a step in the right direction, but it’s not the right move.

For Lewis Holtby to get his career back on track, and to the standards that he set with Schalke, he needs to remain with Tottenham.

All Lewis Holtby needs is a chance, which is why his agent had this to say during the summer window of 2014:

"“Lewis is optimistic about the future at Spurs. There is a new manager there now which means it’s a fresh start for him and a fresh start for everyone. He is happy at Tottenham and has a good feeling there. He wants to stay and prove himself and be part of the team.”– Marcus Noack via Sky Sports"

Because of Mauricio’s penchant for starting young players, should Lewis Holtby get one last chance with Tottenham? Or should both parties move on instead?

If he stays, he needs as much playing time as possible. If he goes, it would be a waste as the club never got to see what he was all about.

Although what could potentially hurt Lewis’ chances of returning to Tottenham is a supposed lack of pace and turning the ball over with some ill-advised passes.

But if you look past that, he has what every manager would want in a player.

“The midfield position for Tottenham isn’t saturated, it’s actually starting to become the strength of the club.”

– Alexander Balano

He has heart, determination, passion, a high work rate, an eye for goal, able to play anywhere in the midfield and can change the dynamic of the game.

Pace is important but it shouldn’t be the end of a player’s career to the point that he gets loaned out and eventually sold.

While it’s an inevitable cycle to do this because some players “couldn’t make it” with their club, it can be stopped. Managers just need time and give players a couple of seasons first, or until the player isn’t really doing good, before making a decision.

With that being said, Lewis Holtby right now may look like he’s in a saturated midfield position but I disagree. The midfield position for Tottenham isn’t saturated, it’s actually starting to become the strength of the club.

It’ll be tough to break away from others who want to earn a starting spot, but a midfield exodus might be on the horizon when the transfer window opens on July 1st.

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Unfortunately, no one knows the future of Lewis Holtby. It didn’t help that he wasn’t part of the post-season tour that just recently wrapped up. However, he was part of the pre-season tour in America against MLS teams to begin last season.

Spurs are once again coming to America, this time playing against the MLS All-stars in the summer. Could Lewis Holtby be among the players that Mauricio Pochettino brings along with him?

If so, then that would greatly help his career and possibly the club in the long run.

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