Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughAVB could have made the signing of next season already in Lewis Holtby - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough AVB could have made the signing of next season already in Lewis Holtby - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

AVB could have made the signing of next season already in Lewis Holtby

Whenever a player announces they are to leave their current club at the end of the season, especially on a free, more often than not a contingent of club’s will scamper to the team or agent of the player in question, thrusting their terms in their face, much like a well hung pornstar in an explicit smut movie.

A similar play of events occurred when Lewis Holtby confirmed he will be departing FC Schalke 04 once his contract expires in June. As a result, a number of teams across the continent scampered to Germany to discuss potential personal terms with the youngster.

It comes as no surprise to see teams competing for his signature. The 22-year-old has emerged from the shadow of former Schalke star Raul Gonzalez this year and become a key member in the Bundesliga side’s attacking capability.

With three goals and five assists in 17 games, it was no shock that teams took a shining to the Germany international. However, while Everton, Arsenal and Bayern Munich were thought to be keen on the youngster, it was Tottenham Hotspur who won the race to secure his signature.

The announcement was somewhat of a surprise to fans of the north London side. While rumours were abound that they had agreed a pre-contract with the player, many never believed they could pull off a move for a player as talented as Holtby, especially with the competition to sign him.

It came a day after the club broadcast the arrival of Ezekiel Fryers from Manchester United, much to the displeasure of Sir Alex Ferguson, who effectively cried “Spurs have done nothing wrong, but should be investigated”.

Nevertheless, it is the confirmation of Holtby on a pre-contract that has fans salivating. The 22-year-old admitted days after the move that it was Andre Villas-Boas who convinced him to sign for Spurs, dubbing the 35-year-old an “insanely good manager”.

While the option to sign him in January for as little as £1.6m is a possibility, a move I wholeheartedly endorse, Villas-Boas confirmed that the club will wait until the summer before confirming his arrival.

The 0-0 draw with Queen’s Park Rangers may’ve seen the Portuguese tactician alter his transfer plans this month, but it’s fair to say that he has already made the signing of next season, eight months before it even begins.

The departure of Rafael van der Vaart on deadline day back in August saw the club in dire need of a number 10 to fill to void the Dutchman would leave. Gylfi Sigurdsson and Clint Dempsey may’ve failed to replicate the exploits of the now Hamburg star and it’s fair to say an adequate replacement is a necessity.

There are those that are apprehensive about the arrival of Holtby and rightly so. This season has been the only one that has really seen him shoot to prominence, while any player arriving from one league to another is understandably going to take time to adapt to the rigours of his new surroundings.

However, there those that instantaneously make an impact when joining a new club, Michu for Swansea City being a prime example. The Spaniard arrived at the Liberty Stadium from Rayo Vallecano for £2m over the summer and has taken no time in endearing himself to the Swans faithful, netting 13 Premier League goals to date.

While it’s unlikely that Holtby to hit the ground running in a similar fashion to his Spanish counterpart, the fact that he will be arriving on a free means there is a low risk factor surrounding his signing.

The Germany international is evidently a player that is keen on reaching the highest heights in football, talking up the possibility of winning silverware with Spurs, and despite not playing a minute for the north London side, it’s comments like these that will charm the fans.

His qualities in unlocking the opposition defence, especially those that aim to shut out teams, is at times unrivalled and he could well be the perfect player to bridge the gap between the midfield and attack, much like Van der Vaart in his pomp prior to his departure.