By Hassan Talib Haji
Lewis Holtby has told of his determination to help Tottenham become the biggest club in London.
The 22-year-old, who moved to White Hart Lane from Schalke in January, believes Spurs have what it takes to go all the way in the Europa League this season following their 3-0 last-16 first-leg win over Inter last Thursday, but is ultimately aiming for Champions League football.
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"We have a good team and a good team spirit. We are all very professional over here.
"We should not be underestimated given the quality we have in the squad. I have a feeling we could win [the Europa League] but that will be tough. There is still a long way to go. We still have to play the second leg against Inter.
"We want to play in the Champions League and to be the best team in London."
Gareth Bale has been in fine form lately, having scored 10 goals in his last nine appearances to help Andre Villas-Boas' side into third place in the Premier League and on their way to the Europa League quarter-finals, and Erkelenz-born Holtby says that there is plenty more to come from the Welsh winger.
"He's a quiet but very professional guy," he told added. "On the other hand, he also likes joking around a bit but he's just a really good guy. Despite all the hype around him, he's got on his feet on the ground.
"He works very hard. Gareth is just a sporting animal who has no fat on him and is very big. He also has a shot like a horse!
"The season is not over yet and Gareth is determined to score a few more goals."
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"He impressed me from the very first conversation," the midfielder enthused. "He wanted to have me. The talks were great, he is an experienced coach despite his young age.
"The talks with him were a huge incentive for me. The whole package - coach and club - fit perfectly with me.
"He is very close to the team; sometimes he's one of the guys but he can also be harsher. He exudes authority."
Despite so far struggling to nail down a regular starting berth at his new club, Holtby has high hopes of adding to his three Germany caps at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and believes that a good performance at this summer's European Under-21 Championship is the best way to secure a place in Joachim Low's plans.
"There are other national team players who don't necessarily start from the beginning. I will try to do everything in my power at Tottenham to show my ambitions, but first there is the Euro Under-21s in Israel. My focus is on that, then we'll see.
"I prefer to take things step by step. The priority for me is the Euro Under-21s, and if we can do great things in this tournament then I have a better chance [of making the full squad]."