I'm at my best as a holding midfielder, claims Tottenham's Holtby

The 22-year-old's move from Schalke was brought forward in January following injury to Brazilian Sandro, but he has yet to settle on a role or complete 90 minutes at Spurs.
Lewis Holtby hopes to win a central midfield position at Tottenham and believes he will benefit from a full preseason ahead of the next campaign.

The 22-year-old’s planned summer move from Schalke was brought forward for a fee of 1.5 million pounds following an injury to Sandro, but he has yet to complete 90 minutes for Spurs after featuring in a variety of midfield roles, and finding a consistent role is a top priority.

"In my opinion my best position is as one of the holding midfielders, or maybe in a 4-3-3 formation as one of the central midfielders. This is where I feel most comfortable and where I can put my best effort in," Holtby told The Daily Mail. "I came in without any preseason, the team was in a fluent going, so I knew that’s it was going to be difficult because it’s a very strong side. I wanted to adapt as quick as possible.

"Normally I would sign for summer, I think that’s what everybody expected. But I wanted to adapt as quick as possible. These few months that I’ve got now, they are very important for me to settle in in England, to know the players, to get into the game.

"Then from summer on I think it’s going to be a different challenge, because we start pre-season and everybody starts by zero, so I think it’s different."

The North London club is targeting a place in the top four and a return to the Champions League, but it has lost its last three matches, prompting fears of a poor run-in similar to that of last year that allowed tournament-winner Chelsea to take their place in the competition.

"We’re not scared. That’s the past. We are prepared," Holtby said. "We have a lot of players who have seen that, but we are prepared now and we have to just focus on our game. We don’t look at the table, just win our games and at the end we can watch and hope that we are in the top four.

"We can definitely do it. We had 12 unbeaten league games, we had a very good run. And now we’ve had three disappointing games.

"These 12 days of international break are really good for us to clear everybody’s head; to go to the national team and see something else. We will bounce back, especially in the next game.

"There are still a lot of games to play, and I think we have the right mentality and the right quality to play Champions League next season."

Holtby spent the international break captaining the Germany Under-21 side to a 2-1 victory away at Israel on Sunday in which he scored the opening goal.

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