Lewis Holtby

{Profile Posted 01/10/12}

Date of Birth: - 18.09.1990

Height: - 5ft 10 inches

Position: - Midfielder

Nationality: - German

Current Club: - Schalke 04

Estimated Market Value: - £12 million

Linked with: - Liverpool, Everton, Aston Villa, Arsenal, Manchester United, Inter Milan.

Club Statistics

Alemannia Aachen U19

2006/2007 season - 5 matches, 1 goal and no assists.

2007/2008 season - 17 matches, 11 goals and no assists.

TOTAL - 22 matches, 12 goals and no assists

Alemannia Aachen II

2007/2008 season - 10 matches, 5 goal and 2 assists.

Alemannia Aachen

2007/2008 season - 2 matches, no goals and no assists.

2008/2009 season - 33 matches, 8 goals and 10 assists.

TOTAL - 35 matches, 8 goals and 10 assists

FC Schalke 04

2009/2010 season - 11 matches, no goals and 2 assists.

2011/2012 season - 41 matches, 9 goals and 5 assists.

2012/2013 season - 13 matches, 3 goals and 4 assists.

TOTAL - 65 matches, 12 goals and 11 assists

International Statistics

Germany U19

2008/2009 season- 7 matches, 2 goals and 2 assists.

Germany U20

2009/2010 season - 6 matches, 2 goals and no assists.

Germany U21

2009/2010 season - 5 matches, 2 goals and no assists.

2010/2011 season - 5 matches, 3 goals and 2 assists.

2011/2012 season - 8 matches, 6 goals and 3 assists.

2012/2013 season - 3 matches, 3 goals and 1 assist.

TOTAL - 21 matches, 14 goals and 6 assists.


2010/2011 season - 2 matches, no goals and no assists.

General Comments:

Lewis Holtby is a player that has been attracting a lot of interest from a lot of clubs for a very long stretch of time now. There has been continued interest from many clubs, including Everton and Aston Villa for around 2 years now. I think that just goes to show how good a player he is if top teams have been looking at him for so long, and he is only in his early 20's.

Holtby is a weird type of player though. When he scores his goals and makes

them for other people, he always seems to be positioned in that CAM positions, that Mata, Silva, and Suso type of role. However, you will very often see him in matches, sitting back, helping to break up the play and passing the ball around. It is a good mixture to have, but maybe he should just stick more to the CAM position, where he is better.

Anyway, Holtby is a very, very skilful player. He can easily beat a player with a nice little skill, or little touch. He is also a very good dribbler and can easily skim his way through about 3 or 4 people. When he runs at players he reminds me totally of Mata. He does not just rely on pace, but he uses his skill, power and technique to help get past defenders.

Obviously, with all the goals he has both scored and made for his teammates, he does two or three things very well; finishing, has a good vision and is an expert with his through balls. Firstly, his finishing is second to none. Sometimes when he is put under a bit of pressure then he will sky his shot, or hit it wide, but then most players would. He however can rely on his technique to help keep his shots low and on target. Furthermore, in and around the penalty box, his vision is startling. He always seems to know where the runs of other players are, and he always seems to be able to find them as well. Some of the through balls I have seen him make have been superb and somewhat incredible. Some of his through balls just seem impossible!!

To finish his good points, he is also a very good team player. He passes the ball around well, so suits that passing, Tika Taka style of play which all the best teams play. He also does not keep hold of the ball if passing to a teammate would be a better option - he is very much a team player. He also will track back for the team, and as I say, when he plays in that deeper role, then he is a decent player at snuffing out attacks and is decent in the tackle.

However, there are bits of his game that Lewis needs to improve. Firstly, he is not a very strong player at all. He if often pushed and bullied off the ball, which is not something that can happen if you want to be a top player in any league really, especially in the Premiership. Therefore, he definitely needs to work on getting stronger and try to build up a bit of bulk and muscle so that he is stronger on the ball. Also by getting stronger it will help him both going forward and staying back; it will help him in the tackle, and when he is going forward, being stronger will help him keep hold of the ball and get past opponents.

Another problem with Holtby is his reliance on his left foot. Whenever I have seen him, it seems his is always out wide left and just pass left foot, shoot left foot, cross left foot etc. He has a good right foot however, whenever it does pop out, when he needs to to finish. However, he needs to try and improve his right foot so that he has more confidence when he needs to use it. Also, at the minute he sometimes holds onto the ball a little longer than he needs to so that he can pass/cross/shoot left footed, but if his right foot improves then he will be able to move the ball about quicker and help his team move forward with more power and pace.

He also is not a great player passing it long, like most players in the CAM position seem to be. Even though he only normally relies on short passing, quick one twos and flicks and tricks, by adding better long passing it would add more aspect stop his game, meaning that he would be less predictable and also it would mean he will be able to distribute the ball better.

Finally, something that I have picked up on in his game is his touch. Whenever I see him take a touch, it is one of two things; either a great touch into the direction he is going, or straight to a team mate, or a poor touch away from where he is going or straight to an opponent. I think it is something he needs to get more consistency with and just tighten up a little bit.

Would Holtby cut it in England?

At the minute, no he would not. At present, he just has a few too many weaknesses to his game that he really needs to tighten up before he can become a great player. Another problem with playing in England is that you need to be a strong player, and we have seen how players like Silva, Mata etc. have had to become so much bigger and stronger so that they are not marked out of games or injured because they are bullied off the ball. Therefore, he really does need to bulk up. He is already playing is a strong and physical league, but the Premiership is just one step up. He also needs to improve that touch so that he can keep hold of the ball, and also, needs to diversify his game a little more, e.g. improve those longer balls etc. However, within a few years, if he continues to improve, score more goals at a higher level, e.g. Champions League and the German National Team, then he will definitely make it. But at present it is just a couple of years too early. This also ties in with what Di Frisco has been advising Inter Milan; telling them that he is perhaps around two years away from such a big move.

Summary of Holtby:

Strengths: Finishing, Vision, Short Passing, Through Balls, Skillful, technique

Weaknesses: One Footed, Touch, Long Passing, Strength,

The Business End of the Profile:

At the minute, Schalke are wanting to get Holtby to sign a new deal to remain at the club. However, as I have mentioned, there has been continued interest from Aston Villa and Everton for a while now. Although I am not sure either of those teams could afford him - and I am not sure he would want to go there either! Arsenal also hold an interest in the player, and a move there must be a possibility. There is unconfirmed interest from both Liverpool and Manchester United, so we will keep a watch on that and see if it advances any further. Finally, as just mentioned, Inter Milan hold a very real interest in Holtby, but at the minute have been told he would probably not be ready for a couple of seasons; suggesting they may not make a move in the short term, but rather track the player.

I like this video very much as I think it helps to illustrate all of the points I have made about Holtby

Thanks for reading, and please leave a comment, question and a profile request.

{A profile by Ed052}