Holtby Move Adds to Depth, Will Force Fringe Players out of Club

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2013

PIRAEUS, GREECE - SEPTEMBER 18:  Lewis Holtby of FC Schalke 04 in action during the UEFA Champions League group stage match between Olympiacos FC and FC Schalke 04 at the Karaiskakis Stadium on September 18, 2012 in Piraeus, Greece. (Photo by Dimitri Messinis/EuroFootball/Getty Images)
EuroFootball/Getty Images

On Friday, Tottenham Hotspur announced that they captured the signature of Schalke midfielder Lewis Holtby, who will join the club on a free transfer in the summer. 

The announcement of the signing was made on the club's official Twitter page Friday afternoon. 

We're delighted to announce that we have reached agreement with Lewis Holtby to join the Club in July from Schalke, subject to medical #COYS

— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 4, 2013

Holtby was one of the most coveted young players in the world with Arsenal also after the 22-year-old's signature (via Sky Sports). 

With the addition of Holtby, the Tottenham attack now possesses plenty of players that are able to start in the four attacking positions of whatever formation manager Andre Villas-Boas puts out on the pitch.

AVB has used both the 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-2 formations in his first season in charge of the North London club.

At Schalke, Holtby has played primarily in the center of the attacking trio in the German club's 4-2-3-1 formation.

Contrary to popular belief, the 22-year-old is not a leftwinger who could replace Gareth Bale if the Welsh winger leaves for Real Madrid  (via Daily Mail).

Instead of being a potential replacement for Bale, Holtby would be a good compliment to Bale in the Spurs attack. 

The move to White Hart Lane by Holtby does create a plethora of depth at the central midfield position that could force one or two players out of White Hart Lane before the German international makes his debut for his new club. 

Currently on the Spurs depth chart at the position are Scott Parker, Tom Huddlestone, Sandro, Clint Dempsey, Mousa Dembele, and Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Sandro and Dembele have been used the most by AVB this season, while Dempsey has been utilized for the most part as the central part of the attacking midfield when the Spurs manager has decided to put a 4-2-3-1 out on the pitch.

Regardless of what formation AVB uses, those three players should have no reason to worry about their status at the club.

As for the other three players mentioned above, they should put other clubs on alert that they are willing to move away from White Hart Lane.

The biggest casualty of the AVB era at White Hart Lane has been Huddlestone, who has seen his starting spot taken by the always-improving Sandro. 

The good news for the 26-year-old Englishman is that there is plenty of interest from other clubs, including Reading.

According to the Mirror, Reading will be making a move for Huddlestone in January.

Parker is also attracting interest from around the EPL as former Spurs manager Harry Redknapp is interested in bringing him to QPR to help with the club's relegation battle (via Mirror Football). 

As for Sigurdsson, he may have to fight for his spot in the starting 11 or hope that Bale does move to Spain so he can get more playing time. 

If Bale does leave North London, then Sigurdsson could become a more useful part of the club as he and Dempsey would fight for the starting position, as long as AVB does not bring in another star to the club. 

The signing of Holtby shows that AVB is out to find the right players for his system and with that will come the eventual departures of the players from the Redknapp era.

That trend will continue until the current Spurs manager believes he has a squad that is strong enough to compete for the Premier League title and potentially a Champions League title.

For more transfer updates on Tottenham and the rest of the EPL, follow me on Twitter, @JTansey90. 


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