Born of an ex-Army English father and a German mother, attacking midfielder Lewis Holtby played for the country of his birth and was Germany's Under-21 captain when Spurs signed a pre-contract agreement with him in January 2013 to join the following summer.
Having started his footballing career at the early age of four with Sparta Gerderath, staying with his first club until he was 11, when he moved to Borussia Moenchengladbach. Unfortunately, the club decided that he was too slow and lacked physique, so he was signed up by Alemannia Aachen in the German Second division in 2007, but within two years he had been snapped up by Schalke 04. He had hoped to play for his father's favourite team, Everton, but despite being watched by Manchester United, Feyenoord, Arsenal and PSV Eindhoven, he stayed in Germany.
To get him some first team action, he was loaned out to Bochum and Mainz in 2010 and 2011. Mainz finished fifth in the Bundesliga with Holtby playing a big part in their season and on his return to Schalke, the midfielder won the German SuperCup and then helped his club finish third the following season. This qualified Schalke of the Champions League, where Lewis got good experience.
However, he made it clear that he would be leaving at the end of the season and in January 2013, signed a pre-contract agreement to join Spurs in July 2013, despite being linked with Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton. His deal is thought to have been worth £3.5 million a year and a £500,000 signing on fee. However, am injury to Sandro that ruled him out for the rest of the season meant Spurs pushed Schalke to allow Holtby to join in the January transfer window and after some bargaining, a fee believed to be around £1.5 million was paid to release him early.
An experienced international footballer, he has played three times for the national side and captained the Under-21s.
He settled in well at Tottenham, putting in some energetic performances after his arrival, but he found himself reduced to a substitute's role after a while, with players returning from injury. Lewis had the misfortune to be pushed further down the pecking order by new signings in the summer of 2013, but when called upon, he showed a willingness to work for the team that the fans appreciated and also demonstrated a degree of skilful play, setting up chances and also scoring goals, with a delightful cushioned volley against Anzhi Makhachkala in the Europa League. Holtby's luck took a further downturn, when Andre Villas-Boas was replaced by Tim Sherwood as Head Coach and the German was side-lined in favour of others.
In the January 2014 transfer window, he was allowed to join struggling Fulham on loan, nominally to get playing time under his belt with a view to returning to Tottenham in the summer, but rumours circulated that there may have been an option for a permanent deal available to the Cottagers. This didn't happen and despite his suitability to play the hard pressing game new Head Coach Mauricio Pochettino favours, in the summer 2014 transfer window, he returned to Germany on loan with SV Hamburg.