When Lewis Holtby decided not to renew his contract with Schalke 04, not many heads turned in India. After all, the Bundesliga isn't the most-watched in a country where the English Premier League is the holy grail.
But back in England, it was another story. Top clubs were alerted and Tottenham Hotspur swooped down on the 22-year-old midfielder like hungry hawks. He agreed to sign with them and Spurs had one less headache for next summer's transfer window. The best part — he came on a free transfer.
With midfielder Sandro out with a long-term injury, the Londoners couldn't wait to get him at the club. So, they decided to shell out £1.5 million immediately and get their man in January itself.
If the 4th ranked team in the EPL gets that desperate, Holtby must be good. Damn good.
So, here's a quick 'what you need to know' about the EPL's latest star.
- Position: Attacking Midfielder
- Teams represented: Borussia Mönchengladbach, Alemannia Aachen, Schalke 04, VfL Bochum (loan), Mainz 05 (loan), Tottenham Hotspur
- Foot: Left
- Number: Wore no.10 at Schalke.
- Career stats: 229 matches, 62 goals and 50 assists (all competitions across career). He scores one goal every 265 minutes, which means around once every three games.
- Lewis Holtby's father is English and his mother is German. But as soon as he played for Germany in a competitive match, his right to play for England expired.
- Holtby's nickname is Lucky. Spurs will need him to live up to that if they are to maintain their fine position in the EPL.
- Lucky has captained Germany at Under-21 level and is known for his dribbling ability. He is best suited to playing in the hole behind the strikers, and though not as accomplished as Luka Modric, could very well turn out to be as good if he gets going. His interceptions and crosses are famed but he lacks aerial prowess. This was one of the reasons he was released by Borussia Monchengladbach very early in his career.
- Holtby scored the winning goal in a 5-4 win in the match immediately after his transfer to Spurs was announced.
- He has always harboured a dream to play in his father's country and also suggested that he wouldn't mind playing for Liverpool. He and his father are ardent Everton fans.