Guest Post - By @BringBackAtouba
The imminent capture of
German playmaker, Lewis Holtby, is once again a masterclass in business from chairman Daniel Levy, signing the up and coming Schalke star on a Bosman free transfer, the only uncertainty being whether he joins now, for a cut-price fee, or in the Summer for nothing. Intense speculation on twitter and in the media has created a suspicion that the move will be completed within this window aswell as other creative youngster Iago Falque joining Almeria on loan, freeing up a spot in the 25 registered player list. Holtby's father, an RAF pilot stationed in Germany was an Everton fan and brought Holtby up an Evertonian, himself stating it's his dream to play in the Premier League. But with Schalke keen to re-gain as much money as possible the deal as to whether he joins now or later is likely to go right down to the wire, with Levy holding out for as low a fee as possible.
The ex-German U21 captain who
has made 3 appearances for the full national team at the age of just 22, is no doubt a class signing. His link up play at Schalke behind Klaas- Jan Huntelaar a natural finisher, like Defoe, has no doubt assisted to his call ups nationally and he has even proven to act as the scorer in the Dutchmans absence, scoring the winning goal and assisting two others in the sides thrilling 5-4 win over Hannover 96 at the weekend. His pace and craft behind the striker will no doubt help fill the creative void in midfield left by Modrid and VDV's absence as well as add another midfielder to the ranks should he join early, with Sandro ruled out for the season.
However with such intense
speculation and excitement its easy to overlook, fellow playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson sitting on the Spurs bench. His appearances this season have been often limited to substitute appearances, starting only three times in the Premier League where he is yet to score. Aged similarly to Holtby, his performances on the pitch albeit limitied have often been impressive, yet AVB has often favoured Clint Dempsey in the CF role over the young Icelandic international. The signing of Holtby would push Sigurdsson even further down the pecking order and would be detrimental to his growth and potential, requiring persistent game time to progress into the top professional he has the capabilities of reaching something he wouldn't get at Spurs.
So the question begs; what
now for him? Whilst its way too early to rule out a transfer elsewhere a loan move isn't the most unlikely scenario for someone who craves regular game time. A busy schedule up ahead, with FA cup, Premier League and Europa League matches will undoubtedly lead to game time for the playmaker and a chance for him to impose himself on the team and show AVB what he is capable of.
So what happened to the man
we signed who at Swansea last season bagging 7 goals in 18 games as well as 5 assists? Most obvious would be the complete lack of game time. However, the enhanced level of competition has also hindered his chances, the lesser goal scoring competition he had around him at Swansea with only Sinclair and Graham outscoring him under significantly more appearances added an almost relaxed tone to his game, whereas at Spurs he is under immediate pressure to start and perform on a moments notice as seen earlier on in the season against Chelsea. Furthermore he has often been deployed on the wing at Spurs, in Bales absence as seen against Reading - not his natural position and hardly one that would guarantee goal chances every time he plays.
With competition fierce for a
singular CF position at the head of AVB's triangle of three in the middle, it's yet to be seen were Sigurdsson fits in. Although he has the height to defend, he lacks the physical strength ruling out a defensive midfield role alongside Dembele or Parker in the absence of Sandro and isn't quick enough to provide realistic competition for Lennon or Bale on the wings.
The biggest problem Spurs
made it seems was signing both Dempsey and Sigurdsson two players who crave game time in order to flourish at the club and then rotate them in a position that requires solidity and consistence as shown by the two respective players last year, both performing under consistent game time. Although we'd be stupid to reject a player of Holtby's class and ability it does raise questions about what role Sigurdsson has at the club, half way into the first season and failing to establish himself.