Tottenham: How Spurs Should Use Lewis Holtby Next Season
This past January transfer window, Tottenham's biggest move was for Schalke's Lewis Holtby.
Despite the fact that Holtby's contract was due to expire in the summer, the transfer was widely considered one of the best deals of the window.
After all, Spurs found themselves in desperate need of some depth in the midfield at the time—after Sandro's season-ending injury—so a £1.5 million deal for a 22-year-old up-and-coming talent seems worth the (relatively) low price.
For that final part of the season, Holtby showed some promise at White Hart Lane, coming on in 11 different Premier League matches and getting starts by the end of the campaign.
With a new season right around the corner and the German currently gaining more experience while he is away at the 2013 U21 European Championships, the question looming is: how fast will Lewis Holtby's progression be at Tottenham?
Specifically, just how will the club use his talents this upcoming season?
One factor that might determine this, is Holtby's present and future teammates.
With the talented duo of Moussa Dembele and Sandro, Spurs are already quite loaded in the middle of the park.
In more attacking roles the side is also quite deep, with superstar player of the year Gareth Bale, young talent Gylfi Sigurdsson and the opportunistic Clint Dempsey providing cover.
If Spurs should add to this depth in the transfer window, it could make it hard for Holtby to work his way up the totem pole.
However, a factor that might be of help to the German is his ability to fit into many different positions.
This past season, Holtby played well in an attacking midfield role, a left option and as a typical central midfielder.
With Andre Villas-Boas presumably looking to mold a team after his preferred 4-3-3 image, this type of flexibility is invaluable.
After all, the German could provide duct tape for any holes that arise across the midfield.
While he may start the season as a second option in the midfield, Lewis Holtby could be finding his way into Tottenham's starting lineup sooner rather than later.
His work-rate—especially on defense—makes him a valuable asset that could easily get recognized through another player's poor form or, knock on wood, injury.
Even if that doesn't happen though, one can count on Holtby's energy off the bench.
This 22-year-old may have the potential to become the breakout star of Spurs' season—but his maturity off the bench and adaptability on the pitch make him a sure-fire contributor for years to come.
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