Lewis Holtby has admitted that he had a chance to join Aston Villa when he left Tottenham back in 2014 but he was keen on a return to Germany at the time.
Holtby was a highly-rated young midfielder when he arrived at Tottenham aged 22 back in January of 2013, having had a couple of impressive seasons for Schalke and been capped three times for Germany’s senior side.
He showed plenty of promise in his first 12 months at Spurs, winning the Spurs fans over with his technical quality and tenacity.
However, following that honeymoon spell, he found game time hard to come in North London, having to compete with the likes of Christian Eriksen for the number ten role.
After failing to pull up any trees during his loan spell at Craven Cottage during the second half of the 2013-14 season, Holtby was loaned out to Hamburg the subsequent campaign before making the move permanent in the summer of 2015.
Holtby’s career has flattered to deceive since then, with the midfielder not having much success during his second stint in English football with Championship side Blackburn Rovers.
The midfielder, who now plies his trade at Bundesliga 2 side Holstein Kiel, has spoken about his decision to return to Germany rather than join Aston Villa in 2014.
When asked about Villa’s interest, he told The Athletic: “I had the feeling that I wanted to go back home. I was young. And I had the option of joining a great big club in Germany or another big club in England.
“If I didn’t go to Hamburg, I wouldn’t have met my wife. And therefore we wouldn’t have had our baby and the lovely time together since. I don’t have regrets in life because the right path is always the one you choose.”
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Hotbly’s decline partly had to do with the tactical evolution of the game, with teams starting to move away from a number ten at the time. The German was not particularly effective as an eight and could not really do a job out-wide in a front three, which is perhaps why he did not live up to his potential.
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