Holtby had fallen down the pecking order at Spurs under Andre Villas-Boas and then Tim Sherwood, despite only arriving at White Hart Lane in January 2013.
Now back at Tottenham, new Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino has afforded Holtby the chance to impress in pre-season. Goal assesses the German-born midfielder's performance against MLS side Chicago Fire.
|PERFORMANCE AGAINST CHICAGO FIRE
Holtby was one of few players to survive a wave of half-time changes against Chicago and delivered an hour-long display with plenty for Pochettino to ponder.
Much has been made of Pochettino's preference for a high pressing game, so the new Spurs boss will have been pleased to see Holtby closing down the Fire defence in the build-up to the first goal.
The midfielder did not force Jeff Larentowicz's error as the defender showed poor control following a slack pass from goalkeeper Sean Johnson, but he was alert and on hand to take possession.
From there it was simple enough for Holtby, who squared for Harry Kane to beat Johnson with a shot into the bottom corner from close range.
Holtby appeared to enjoy the defensive presence of Etienne Capoue in midfield and was able to venture forward and join the likes of Erik Lamela, Andros Townsend and Aaron Lennon in attack.
His passing was otherwise typically tidy before he was eventually replaced by Iago Falque shortly after the hour mark.
|WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
Despite his encouraging displays in pre-season so far, it remains to be seen whether or not Holtby will be a part of Pochettino's plans heading into the new season.
After appearing in the Spurs first team in fits and starts under Andre Villas-Boas last season, the former Schalke playmaker found himself completely out of favour under Tim Sherwood and was sent out on loan to Fulham.
Holtby was one of Fulham's better players during the second half of last season but could not help the Cottagers avoid relegation to the Championship.
Now, he must impress another new manager. If the 23-year-old fails to do so, another loan move - or evern a permanent switch away from Spurs - could be on the cards.
|A GOOD 2014-15 WOULD BE...
Holtby must attempt to make himself a permanent feature in a Tottenham starting XI which boasts a wealth of creative midfield options including Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela, who has looked rejuvenated in pre-season.
Spurs will play plenty of football next season after qualifying for the Europa League and Holtby will surely be involved in a variety of cup football, but it is in the Premier League where the German will want to play week in, week out.
If he can do so, and help Tottenham push for a place in the top four, it will have been a good 2014-15 campaign for Holtby and a vast improvement on last season.