It seems an age ago that Tottenham Hotspur were lauded for signing a young Lewis Holtby for a fee of just £1.5m from Schalke.
The midfielder was regarded as one of Europe’s most promising talents, captain of the under 21 German side.
It has been a little over four years since Tottenham sold him, but Holtby has revealed that he still watches every Spurs game.
Holtby spent 18 months in England with Spurs, but never quite lived up to the promise. However, many believe that the young man was never given a fair shot in the team for a player of his age.
Holtby now agrees that he was rather naïve in his younger years, and could have gone on to achieve much more at Tottenham.
The German is currently in his fifth season at Hamburg, as he inches towards his 29th birthday, but says he is still ‘proud’ of being part of the Tottenham journey.
He said (Independent): “To see the club evolving to where they are now. Somehow it makes you proud that you have been a part of something.
“I loved the time in England. You can’t compare Fulham or even back then Schalke to Tottenham. It was definitely frustrating though because I had good spells where I felt I deserved more game time. But I did expect more of myself, I had more expectations to succeed.
“I thought I had the quality but maybe I was a bit naïve. I made too many rash decisions. I wasn’t as professional as I am now in a lot of things. There’s a lot of things that I’ve gained now over the years and I think if I was there now I would act differently, I think I have more in my locker.
“I was so eager to play, so desperate to start week-in-week-out that I made the move [to Fulham and then to Germany]. You get very stressed in periods when you don’t get the game time. It’s different now, I have more experience. Sometimes, when you’re young, you’re eager, but you need a bit of patience and to push yourself even more. That’s how it works at the highest level and maybe that was missing a bit from my point of view at that age.”
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