Tottenham Hotspur: How Lewis Holtby Will Help Spurs Immediately
When Lewis Holtby originally signed for Tottenham, fans of the club were excited to see what he could bring to the club next season.
Just weeks later, Holtby's move to White Hart Lane was rushed ahead due to injury concerns at the club (via tottenhamhotspur.com)
When Sandro went down with his season-ending knee injury, manager Andre Villas-Boas made the early signing of Holtby a priority (via BBC Sport). AVB got his way and brought in the 23-year-old German midfielder from Schalke, who has since made two appearances off of the bench for his new club.
Now, a new injury concern at White Hart Lane has made Holtby's role at the club even more important.
Jermain Defoe was forced out of Sunday's match against West Brom with an ankle injury that will cause the England international to miss up to three weeks (via Daily Mail).
With Defoe out for the club's EPL matches against Newcastle United, West Ham United and Arsenal as well as the two legs of the Europa League round of 32 tie against Lyon, Holtby's role will be expanded for at least the next month.
The most likely candidates to fill the Defoe's role as the lone forward in the 4-2-3-1 formation are Emmanuel Adebayor and Clint Dempsey.
If Dempsey is to move into the forward position, Holtby would be the natural replacement as the central midfielder in the middle of the attacking trio. While at Schalke, Holtby made 22 appearances at the same position and he is the player who will most likely fill that role with Gylfi Sigurdsson becoming out of favor at the club under AVB.
During the stretch of six matches over the next month, Tottenham will need a player who can provide the likes of Gareth Bale, Dempsey and Adebayor with brilliant passes.
That is where Holtby steps into the picture.
During his time in the Bundesliga this season, Holtby provided 10 assists in all competitions for his Schalke teammates.
There is no doubt that Holtby will be a perfect fit in the Spurs lineup; he just has to find his way into the starting 11 to make his impact be known. The month of February presents the perfect opportunity for Holtby to slot right into the Tottenham squad and fight for a permanent spot in the lineup with Dempsey.
Holtby is a significant improvement over Sigurdsson, who would have played in the central attacking role if Dempsey were to be forced to play up front. While talking about a potential Holtby start in the near future is nice, he will first have to prove that he can come off of the bench and make an impact. If there is one thing that AVB has done consistently throughout the season, it has been to play the same attacking players week after week.
However, if Holtby does impress during time off of the bench in the coming matches, he could easily replace Dempsey in the lineup and develop into a star at White Hart Lane.
Regardless of if Holtby is in the starting 11 or on the bench, he could easily make an impact on the club over the next few weeks while Defoe is sidelined by his ankle injury.
What impact do you think Lewis Holtby will have at Tottenham?
Comment below or leave me a comment on Twitter, @JTansey90.
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