Rumours surfacing in the newspapers that Lewis Holtby is seeking a return to German football should greatly aggrieve Tottenham fans who want to see more of the exciting young midfielder at White Hart Lane.
Reports in the Independent, Mirror, and on some football betting websites this week have all suggested the 23-year-old is ready to join up with former club, Schalke, as he targets regular football to push into the Germany national side.
It is not a bad argument from that standpoint – regular football is the most important thing at this stage of his career. Since moving to Spurs, Holtby has scored three goals from 38 games, one in the Premier League.
His £2m price from Schalke was a steal last January and, at the time, the live football commentary hinted that plenty of other Premier League clubs wanted him. Holtby has shown the attacking nous required at White Hart Lane but has sadly seen his chances of full games drop since the arrival of Christian Eriksen and Paulinho.
There is clearly no room for him to grow and so rather than begrudge his (would be) departure, we should commend him for wanting to get the most out of his career.
What we should instead condemn is the transfer policy that allowed ex-boss Andre Villas-Boas the power to go out and sign players ahead of Holtby, rather than giving the new signing a chance.
AVB trusted him in the latter part of last season but it became clear over the summer, as the manager looked to replace Gareth Bale with eight players, those already in the squad would struggle to get a look in.
What is the point of bringing new players in if, six months down the line, you cast them on the rubbish dump? Holtby has not played since Boxing Day and is yet to complete a Premier League game this season.
Unfortunately, it seems this is the plan AVB – and now most probably Tim Sherwood – had for the German. He was so cheap that all he is good for is being a decent reserve for the midfielders and that’s all he’ll stay if he remains at Tottenham.