Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Spurs Hopeful Holtby Has a Friend in Freund

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Spurs Hopeful Holtby Has a Friend in Freund

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse Football Correspondent

LEWIS HOLTBY is desperate to secure a move to the Premier League and will surely be cheered by a glowing reference from the man who might soon work with him at Tottenham.

Holtby's contract with Bundesliga club Schalke expires at the end of the season and the 22-year-old midfielder, who has an English father but has been capped at senior level by Germany, is a target for Spurs.

Steffen Freund, the club's assistant head coach, follows the game in his home country closely and believes that Holtby would adapt quickly to football in England. "For Lewis it would not be TOTTENHAM v COVENTRY FA Cup Tomorrow, 3pm a problem because he is half-English and loves the Premier League," said Freund. "I know him, he is the captain of the German Under-21 team and will lead them at the European Championship in Israel next summer.

"He is out of contract at the age of 22. I don't think I have to say any more. I don't know him well but what I can say is that he is a really good player.

"If I talk too much about him now, it will seem as though he is already a Spurs player. It is too much now but if it happens, you can ask me everything about him. I know a lot about him."

Holtby (right) could sign a pre-contract agreement with a club outside Germany this month and then join them in the summer. Spurs are contenders to capture him but their immediate focus is on domestic matters, with Coventry at White Hart Lane for tomorrow's FA Cup third-round tie.

It is a repeat of the 1987 final, which Coventry won 3-2, but the Sky Blues have fallen far since then. They are now in League One and it would be one of the shocks of recent Cup history were the result to be repeated tomorrow.

A former player at Tottenham, Freund returned to the club only this summer after working with Germany's junior teams. …

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