Lewis Holtby says he ‘loved’ playing for Tottenham and is not thinking about leaving the club this summer.
The German, who arrived from Schalke in January 2013, has spent the second half of this season on loan at Fulham but expects to return to Spurs in the summer.
“There is little sense in talking about other clubs since I have a long-term contract at Tottenham,” he told Goal.
“The status quo is that I will go back to Spurs after the summer holidays. I can’t tell you what is going to happen until then. My agent takes care of everything and as far as I know his mobile is always turned on.
“I loved playing for Tottenham and I would like to fulfil my contract there. But at first it is important to avoid relegation with Fulham.”
After initially finding himself on the bench at the start of this season, Holtby forced his way into Andre Villas-Boas’ first team after some impressive displays in the Europa League and made five Premier League starts, scoring a spectacular winner against Fulham in December.
But Holtby was unfancied by Villas-Boas’ successor Tim Sherwood, who handed the 23-year-old just one start in the disappointing 1-1 draw with West Brom before sending him on loan to the Cottagers.
Sherwood has insisted Holtby has a future at Spurs, telling the Tottenham Journal: “Has he got a future here? I think he has, yes. It will be great for him now at Fulham to play regular football. We look forward to welcoming him back in the summer.”
Ironically, it seems unlikely the 45-year-old has a future at the Lane, so Holtby’s fate depends on Spurs’ new boss, widely tipped to be Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal.
The playmaker says the Dutchman is an ‘exceptional coach’.
“There is always lots of talk. Louis van Gaal is an exceptional coach, you can’t deny that,” Holtby added.
“He led big teams to big success. I don’t know whether he will be the new coach and of course it is not for me to decide. I don’t want to think about it now.”
Holtby is one of the more likeable, bubbly characters at Tottenham and most supporters would like to see him given another chance next season.
However, likability does not make a top footballer (quite the opposite, in many cases) and doubts remain if the 3-cap Germany international is good enough for a regular spot, particularly with Christian Eriksen and Gylfi Sigurdsson already at the club.
But Holtby has shown enough in his time at Schalke, Spurs and Fulham to suggest he can blossom into a top player and key for the midfielder is to establish himself in a set role.
This season alone, he has been used as a deep-lying playmaker, box-to-box midfielder, number ten and even right winger and his versatility will not help his prospects at a club like Spurs.
With the impressive Eriksen surely set to play the number ten role next season, Holtby would be most effective competing with Mousa Dembele and Nabil Bentaleb for a deep-lying playmaker role, perhaps alongside a true defensive midfielder like Sandro.
Image via @SpursOfficial.