Back in the last knockings of the January transfer window in 2013, Tottenham secured the services of playmaker Lewis Holtby on a four-and-a-half year deal.
The 28-year-old made the move to North London after impressing at German outfit Schalke, netting 13 goals in 79 games for the club, nine of which coming in the 2011/12 campaign to help the Bundesliga outfit to third place in the division.
Yet Spurs, under the stewardship of Andre-Villas-Boas, lured the 28-year-old to White Hart Lane for a paltry £1.58 million (as per Transfermarkt), a deal which was raved about by several Tottenham supporters on Twitter…
— Jake Hobson (@jakehobson) January 28, 2013
— Ed Marsh (@ed11e) January 28, 2013
@SpursOfficial Awesome News.
— Grimmy (@Grimmy4210) January 28, 2013
— Raj Thind (@BCRaj) January 28, 2013
@SpursOfficial Great News! Quality Striker now please, preferably before Norwich! COYS!
— Daren Twohig (@Mr_DMT) January 28, 2013
@SpursOfficial and there it is the moment we’ve been waiting for that will put my mind at rest atlast
— Mr.Harry (@TGheiti) January 28, 2013
@SpursOfficial that is excellent news! Now focus on a new striker!!!
— Kristian Wæraas (@kwaeraas) January 29, 2013
— Troy Reid (@TroyReid_) January 28, 2013
Yet things simply didn’t go according to plan for the Germany international, with Villas-Boas’ bargain coup very much backfiring, and thus likely to have seriously disappointed those Spurs fans.
Ultimately, Holtby was clearly a hugely talented player and prospect when he joined the North London club back in 2013, and while there were spells in which the attacker proved his worth to Tottenham, those moments were few and far between.
The 28-year-old failed to net in the second half of the 2012/13 season despite appearing 17 times following his arrival, with his first goal for the club eventually coming in Europa League qualifying for the 2013/14 campaign, netting in their 3-0 win over Dinamo Tbilisi.
And while he remained a reasonably regular feature under Villas-Boas, his departure in December 2013 spelt seriously bad news for Holtby, as new manager Tim Sherwood infrequently utilised the midfielder in his first few weeks in charge, to the point that he shipped him out on loan to fellow Premier League side Fulham for the second half of the season.
And that was pretty much it for Holtby’s Spurs career as, although he appeared in their opening day win over West Ham at the start of the 2014/15 season, and featured in Europa League qualifying against Limassol, he made the move to Hamburg on loan for the whole campaign, before making that move permanent come the summer of 2015.
Thus, despite the anticipation and excitement that surrounded Holtby’s arrival in North London, he simply wasn’t able to produce his best football at Tottenham – Villas-Boas’ departure in December 2013 all but ended his stint at the club there and then.
Yes, chairman Daniel Levy and the club’s hierarchy didn’t lose a huge amount given they only signed him for £1.58 million, but given his talent and prior efforts for Schalke, they would have expected better from their bargain coup.
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