Last week both Schalke’s Lewis Holtby and Mainz’s Jan Kirchhoff confirmed that neither will seek to renew their contracts at the end of the season, inevitably leading to a range of stories and rumors linking them with moves to several clubs. A little less than a week later both put all those rumors to bed by officially declaring for their new clubs. Lewis Holtby will join English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur at the end of the season while Jan Kirchhoff will don a Bayern Munich kit.
Holtby’s dream come true
Lewis Holtby, whose father is English, never hid his desire to one day play in the Premier League and on Friday Tottenham Hotspur’s website officially confirmed the signing of the talented 22-year-old. Holtby is expected to undergo a medical in London in the coming days before returning to Gelsenkirchen to see out the season with Schalke. Despite his young age, Holtby is already a seasoned Bundesliga veteran, having played in the top flight for three years now and also successfully captaining Germany’s U-21’s.
The move to Tottenham came as a bit of a surprise though considering he was also linked with Arsenal and Liverpool among others. For Tottenham this is a great move that will add one of the best young talents in Europe on a free and will give them a range of options considering his versatility. Tottenham’s German assistant coach and former youth coach Steffen Freund has monitored Holtby’s development closely for some time now and believes he will adapt to the English game just fine:
For Lewis it would not be a problem because he is half-English and loves the Premier League. 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.
Kirchhoff makes move down south
Bayern have completed their first signing of the new year in the talented and versatile 22-year-old. The center-back, who is equally comfortable in defensive midfield, will also undergo the obligatory medical in Munich before signing a three year deal. Kirchhoff hasn’t seen much playing time this season but has been part of Mainz’s first team since 2010 and seasoned U-21 German international. Sporting director Matthias Sammer had his eyes on Kirchhoff and with this transfer bolstered Bayern’s budding crop of talent even further:
We’re delighted we’ve been able to bring this highly-talented Under-21 international to FC Bayern. I’m personally very pleased he’s chosen to take on the challenge.
For Bayern this is a practical and methodical transfer. Signing one of the best up and coming young talents in the country on a free transfer is smart business and Kirchhoff will add further depth to a position growing in strength. Kirchhoff will likely fill the potential departure of Daniel Van Buyten and could become even more useful should Holger Badstuber’s current injury result in any complications.
Header courtesy of bild.de
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