There are a number of high profile players with expiring contracts in 2013 that the Gunners have been linked with, and although majority of the rumours may not fruitate into anything concrete, over the next week we will be writing some articles about some of the possible transfer targets for January. After we wrote about two attackers, it would be nice to mention someone from the supply service. It’s time to present Lewis Holtby, the 22-year-old midfielder from Schalke 04.
Lewis Holtby – Contract expires Summer 2013 [Part 3]
A creative midfielder of English-German origin, Lewis Holtby is probably going to be one of the star names in negotiations that will take place until June 2013. Despite the fact he spent just one full season at Schalke, Holtby is close to the exit door given that he still didn’t sign a new contract with the club that loaned him out twice in his first two seasons, with a lot of clubs reportedly in the queue to sign this exciting talent.
Ever since he started showing his talent in Germany there have been two main questions that have surrounded him – first, regarding his international career due to his dual citizenship (English and German) and second, regarding his future Premier League-career given that he expressed his feelings for Everton and also prospects of playing in the English Premier League. Since he has chosen to represent Germany, the first question will likely evolve into how England lost a great player. The other one, however, is going to crop up very often in months to come.
Holtby has only seven months left on his contract, he has already stated his desire to play in English Premier League (which was cautious change of statement regarding his love for Everton which was inherited from his father, a statement probably motivated by rumours that Holtby is high on wish-lists of Arsenal, FAnchester United and, especially, Everton’s arch-rival Liverpool). Several clubs in England want to sign him in January for lower price or in June on Bosman rule, especially given the fact he is young quality player that already established himself in strong team like Schalke 04. His team-mate Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is basically in the same position and there are clubs – and Arsenal could be named as one of the favourites in that race – that would like to sign both of them.
I have always said that one day I would play in England. I wouldn’t even rule out Liverpool, even if it would be tough for my dad – he’s an Everton fan.
Holtby is an attacking-minded midfielder. He can create goals – which is something that Arsenal fans saw this season since he had his fingers in both of Schalke goals in 2-2 draw in Germany – as well as scores them. A left-footed midfielder would add more creativity to any club that decides to sign him and that could be a reason for Schalke to keep him in the club. On the other hand, it is very doubtful Schalke will let both of their top players leave for free or in January for a lower price so nobody should write off Schalke from battling for Holtby’s signature.
Holtby is a 22-year-old German international that can both create and score goals. He has a powerful left foot but he is also capable pf shooting the ball with his weaker foot. He has nice vision and passing and those qualities allow him to play both deep and high on the field. Given that we have a lot of problems with injuries in the midfield and with Tomas Rosicky’s future unknown – whether we are talking about Little Mozart’s injuries or possible transfer – another quality player in that department can only make Arsenal better team.
There is also something that allarsenal.com recently wrote about – British core of the future Arsenal. The two most promising full-backs in English football Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs are at Arsenal, dynamic midfielder Jack Wilshere is heart of the midfield, Aaron Ramsey is a player that enjoys huge trust from Wenger while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is one of the most talented up-and-coming English players. I should mention Theo Walcott who is currently in tough negotiations with Arsenal for a new contract. Walcott, 23, is young British player with a lot of experience already. Holtby, with his British origin (his father is English), would fit in there.
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If there are reasons TO NOT sign Holtby, I would name two. First of all, it is very questionable whether he is going to have loyalty to Arsenal if we decide to sign him. In 2009 he was talking about his father who infected him with Everton only to change it to something more acceptable to Liverpool fans. It should be a sign that he could turn out to be new Nasri or Clichy, players that got developed, improved and established in Arsenal- Second of all, we are yet to resolve the whole Theo Walcott story – Walcott’s new contract should be our top priority
Nevertheless, I would sign Holtby if I were Wenger.